What is LTE? You have heard many times for LTE and 4G. But what is LTE? Find out the answers to these questions.

What is LTE

What is LTE

LTE – Long Term Evolution is the standard for the latest generation of high speed wireless mobile internet. The standard was developed by 3GPP – 3rd Generation Partnership Project. LTE is a successor of UMTS networks and CDMA2000 networks.

The first LTE network was launched by TeliaSonera in Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden in December 2009. Verizon Wireless has launched its LTE network in 2010. The most of the world countries have at least one LTE network.

Is LTE a 4G Technology?

4G or fourth generation of the mobile wireless internet has very strict specifications for the 4G technology. ITU-R has set up IMT-Advanced specifications, where is stated that,  4G internet data rates should be 100 Mbps for high mobility clients and 1 Gbps for low mobility clients.

3GPP has also adopted the IMT-Advanced specifications for the 4G internet and the data rates, that I have already mentioned in this post. According to these specifications, LTE doesn’t meet the requirements for the 4G technology. However, because of the marketing pressure, ITU allowed that LTE and WiMAX can be called the 4G technologies.

Read more about the LTE technology in the post LTE Technology – Basic Architecture of the 4G Mobile Internet Access.

LTE Advanced standard, working at gigabit speeds, meet all the IMT-Advanced requirements. The same is with the WiMAX advanced technology. It is agreed that LTE Advanced and WiMAX Advanced are called True 4G.

More about the 4G internet and 4G technologies you can read in the post 4G Internet – There is still no Real 4G Technology on the Market.

The LTE Overview

Now when you have a basic understanding of what is LTE, let’s go into more detail about the LTE technology and how does LTE work. LTE is standard for mobile wireless internet transfer. It uses new digital signal processing technology and enhanced a modulation technique that enables much faster wireless capacity and data rates.

LTE brings all IP (internet protocol) based new network architecture which decreases latency. It uses different radio frequency spectrum then 2G and 3G networks.

What is LTE Speed and Other Features



The LTE technology has the following features:

  • Download speed up to 300 Mbps and upload up to 75 Mbps working on the 20 MHz channel with 4X4 MIMO antennas
  • A lower data latency for handover and connection setup compared to 3G
  • Better mobility – mobile terminals can move with the speed up to 220 mph (350 km/h) or even 310 mph (500 km/h)
  • Lower power consumption for terminals
  • Better spectrum flexibility – six different bandwidths
    • 1.4 MHz
    • 3 MHz
    • 5 MHz
    • 10 MHz
    • 15 MHz
    • 20 MHz
    • Supports different cell sizes
      • Femto and picocells – radius is less than 100 meters
      • Macrocells – radius is 62 miles or 100 km
    • Supports more than 200 active mobile terminals in every cell
    • The network architecture is simpler – less nodes needed
    • Supports coexistence with 2G and 3G networks

Voice calls in the LTE are deployed differently comparing to the 2G and 3G. Find out more about the voice calls in LTE networks in the article Voice over LTE (VoLTE) – the New Features in the LTE.

What is LTE Advanced

After describing the LTE, in the end is important to show you what is LTE Advanced. LTE Advanced is also the mobile communication standard made by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project). LTE Advanced contains many enhancements and meets all the requirements of the IMT-Advanced standard.

LTE Advanced or LTE-A standard have the following requirements:

  • Wider bandwidth up to 100 MHz – using carrier aggregation
  • Using MIMO (multiple input multiple output) antennas technique – up to 8X8 MIMO
  • Support of advanced relays – they first decode the signals and then forward only those needed for nearby users
  • Support of small cells that can dynamically coordinate their use of spectrum enabling cells to expand its transmission range
  • Coordinated transmissions that improve reception by permitting several base stations to form once single cell.

After finding out what is LTE, I recommend that you read about the 4G wireless internet in the post 4G Wireless Internet – How to get the Mobile Internet Access with 4G.

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