LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and can be referred to as the standard for high-speed wireless Internet that is based on the EDGE/GSM and UMTS/HSPA technologies. LTE increases the speed as well as the capacity of the Internet with the use of a different radio interface alongside core improvements in network infrastructures.
LTE and 4G are usually referred to the same thing because they are the present and future of Internet technology. Every smartphone and wireless Internet device networks service provider is either.
Upgrading to LTE technology or promising their customers that the technology will be rolled out soon. LTE has brought some unprecedented fast transmission and download speeds and it has become the standard.
LTE was born out of the fact that the needs for more data consumption and download speeds have grown and, at a certain time, a tipping point will be reached where the demand for data will outgrow supply and LTE seems to be the only solution to this issue. LTE seems to be cheaper when compared to other technologies such as WIMAX and CDMA.
Likewise, LTE can be implemented rather quickly than the rest. The first public LTE technologies were released in Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden in 2009, after deliberations about its rollout. Today, LTE technology is virtually in every corner of the world.
It must be noted that 4G is different from LTE and the reason being that the standard placed on 4G is higher than LTE. For instance, the base for 4G is 100 Mbps, while the base for LTE is 1 Mbps. However, 4G is definitely more expensive to run than LTE.
How does LTE technology work?
LTE has changed the current method of moving data through Internet protocol. Rather for LTE to move small amounts of data like GSM and CDMA, it ensures that large packets of data are delivered and streamlined. It virtually removes the “speed bumps” of the road in order to ensure that Internet data zooms through quickly.
One of the main benefits of using LTE is that it will reduce the latency that hampers the transfer of data. GSM, which provides a much weaker data latency, makes use of the Time Delay Duplex (TDD), while CMDA technology makes use of the Code Division Duplex (CDD) technology to reduce data transfer latency – both CDD and TDD are only used for coding information that are transfer over airwaves and are not as effective as the latency reduction over LTE.
While GSM technology used in a basic smartphone has been improved to HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access), LTE is designed to facilitate the movement of data packets at even a faster rate.
LTE works through the integration of Digital signal processing (DSP), in order to adjudicate the transfer of data packets at a much faster rate. In summary, LTE can be described as a “turbocharger” for your GSM or CDMA.
LTE Bandwidth Breakdown
Now that most networks operators of GSM and other related services are upgrading to LTE technology and the fact that LTE is available for GSM and CDMA means that everyone can make use of it, regardless of the device being used. While LTE is just a system upgrade, frequencies and spectrum regulators still have the mandate to implement it or not.
All devices run at certain spectrum and frequencies, hence an ideal smartphone that operates on LTE will likely operate at different frequencies. Similarly, different countries do operate at different frequencies all across the globe, but a higher frequency of your device does not mean your network service is better. However, lower frequencies seem to be much better in rural areas where fewer people will require smaller bandwidths. A good scenario of this situation is the comparison between North America and Europe, as regards the use of LTE. While the United States has rolled out its LTE over the past few years, many European countries are just taking the first step.
LTE usually operates within the frequency spectrum of 700MHz to 2.6GHz. While a lower 700 MHz spectrum will carry good signals over a larger area, service providers will spend little on infrastructural changes because more people will be reached with such spectrum.
On the other hand, a 2.6 HGz spectrum will be faster but will reach fewer individuals. Likewise, significant resources will be needed to upgrade infrastructure for its usage. Most Internet and smartphone service providers still rely on the lower spectrum of LET for their services.
Frequency is just a specific channel, just like a band on a radio dial, while spectrum is a collection of different bands. Bands can just be of any size within a spectrum, while spectrum comprises of bands, bands comprise of frequencies. Spectrums are usually sold by appropriate organizations to individual companies that deploy LTE services and, if you want a bigger and wider network, you will have to purchase more spectrums.
Many companies now rely on spectrum options in order to improve their network and, recently, there has been an increase in the number of mergers, especially among smaller service providers, in order to purchase larger spectrums for their LTE services and increase profit. Larger companies that purchase smaller carriers are able to gain more frequencies as well as more subscribers.
LTE is becoming more accessible to users worldwide on daily basis, while carriers and service providers still adopt lower frequency options because of the lower cost of an upgrade and the reach of such lower spectrum to more people. Despite the fact that LTE will make you more productive, the cost of such option on your budget is bigger.
Upgrading those network towers to LTE will definitely cost money and service providers will have to recover revenue; hence, if you want more speed and more data, you have to spend extra.
One downside of LTE service is the fact that smartphone batteries will have to be upgraded to keep up with faster Internet speed. It is common to hear people say that their battery ran flat quickly. However, the more robust smartphones seem to be coping with such demands.