Sunday 11 January 2009

LTE gained momentum in year 2008

In my blogs related to WiMax and LTE in the past I have always mentioned about the competition between the two and how each of them does everu thing possible to score over each other.

I must say I have always though that eventually LTE will come through the competition and will gain significance in the future in terms of mobile technology for high speed.

With the current economic climate and by looking at the advance stages of WiMax one would thing that WiMax might win the battle. With the budgets are shrinking as every day passes in these unprecedented economic climate there is always a worry for new technolgies.
By looking at all these circumstance LTE (Long Term Evolution) was supposed to significantly lag behind WiMAX, but the technology gained significant momentum in 2008. The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has completed the majority of specifications for standardization of LTE next-generation technology, meaning the full Release 8 standard is on track for completion by March.

Operators do see this opportunity and the work done by the 3GPP. Nortel like many other companies chose LTE over WiMax thus marking significance towards LTE growth.
Following Nortel a number of operators, including Verizon, T-Mobile and China Telecom, are champing at the bit to deploy LTE. Verizon Wireless has indicated it will have LTE up and running by the end of 2009.

It’s true that there is still significant amount of work to be done by 3GPP toward completing the specifications. The 3GPP still has to work on the evolved packet core, otherwise known as System Architecture Evolution, because the specifications weren't complete enough. 3GPP has written up a list of "exceptions" that will need to be finalized by March in order to be included in Release 8.

Still what became extremely significant for the technology was the fact that a number of CDMA operators, including Verizon and Bell Canada, are moving to LTE, which is supposed to be the technology path for the GSM community.

Vendors like T-Mobile continue to announce their momentum with trials. Just like T-Mobile did the initial trial for LTE, recently Motorola also announced that it has conducted LTE test successfully. In its test it conducted the first over-the-air data sessions for LTE technology in the 700 MHz spectrum in an outdoor field test that included mobile video streaming and other data-heavy applications. These kind of development takes LTE and WiMax further apart and talks of LTE WiMax merger becomes less popular.
There is every possibility now that we won't likely see a merger between WiMAX and LTE.

By looking at the LTE developments in the year 2008, most of the companies do see that future in LTE as there is no doubt that it will become commercially available in few years time.

Telecomm companies in US are feverishly backing LTE and are busy in developing the LTE products. It’s very much likely that initial LTE deployments will happen in the U.S. market on a significant basis first because of the amount of spectrum license holders have in the 700 MHz band. Elsewhere, large swaths of spectrum are hard to come by for significant deployments of LTE.

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