WTF is… 4G

The great thing about standards, as some wit once said, is that there are so many to choose from. Mobile phones have a multiplicity of standards, nested within one another like a messy set of Russian dolls filled with alphabet soup.

WTF is… 4G article tells about the newest hot mobile phone standard. The ‘generations’ of mobile networks are fairly loose, but appear roughly once a decade: the first, analogue, 1G cellular networks around 1981, then digital 2G in about 1992, 3G at the turn of the century.

And now 4G is the hot topic: 4G will be a pure packet-switched TCP/IP network, running everything over IPv6. Voice becomes VoIP. There are two competing 4G technologies: LTE and WiMax. Now it seems that almost everyone going with LTE. What will become the 4G mobile standard for the whole world is 3GPP Release 10: LTE Advanced. It’s a compatible enhancement of LTE to bring it up to the ITU stipulations.

The single most important characteristic of true 4G is that it doesn’t exist yet. Many of the current generation of 4G-branded phones in the US are not actually 4G, whatever their names may suggest.


  1. Dopil says:

    I simply wanted to send a quick word to appreciate you for the remarkable tips and tricks you are sharing at this website. My time-consuming internet research has finally been rewarded with excellent facts to talk about with my two friends. I ‘d say that we visitors are very much fortunate to exist in a good website with so many outstanding professionals with beneficial suggestions. I feel very blessed to have used your entire webpage and look forward to plenty of more enjoyable minutes reading here. Thank you once more for everything.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AT&T’s 4G LTE spotted in Los Angeles

    TeliaSonera first to launch 4G in Finland

    4G marketing getting wilder in Finland

    This week the largest mobile network operator in Finland, Elisa opened their LTE (4G) network service for consumers and businesses.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An introduction to the technology behind LTE Release 9

    End 2008 the specifications were sufficiently stable for commercial implementation and the first commercial LTE network was launched in Sweden and Norway in December 2009. 35 commercial networks were launched by end October 2011.

    TE Release 9. The Release includes a set of features that either were not completed in release 8 or which provide some smaller optimizations or improvements. These are namely:

    Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services (MBMS) for LTE,
    LTE MIMO: dual-layer beamforming,
    LTE positioning
    PWS (Public Warning System)
    RF requirements for multi-carrier and multi-RAT base stations,
    Home eNodeB specification (femto-cell),
    Self-Organizing Networks (SON).

    As the term evolved implies, Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services (MBMS), is not fundamentally new to 3GPP and not defined as a LTE-only feature.
    MBMS in UMTS/WCDMA offers 6 mobile TV channels at a data rate of 128 kbps in a 5 MHz channel.
    LTE defines also a simpler and flatter network architecture than 3G, thus there is an impact offering MBMS over LTE.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ITU designates LTE-Advanced as “True 4G”

    Late last week, the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) finally agreed on which technologies qualify for the IMT-Advanced specification. The ITU has decided that LTE-Advanced (which is a collection of standards defined in upcoming UMTS Releases 9 and 10) and WirelessMAN-Advanced (commonly known as WiMAX 2) both qualify and are officially designated as IMT-Advanced technologies.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sorting out 4G: Are we there yet?

    Can we achieve the performance levels of the IMT-Advanced global standard for international mobile telecommunications?

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Qualcomm chips complete first successful VoIP-over-LTE to WCDMA handoff

    For now, voice over LTE is but an idea — one with unrealized potential, as Verizon, AT&T and Metro PCS all still rely on their 3G networks for voice duty. Qualcomm has edged us one step closer to a completely 4G future, though, with the first successful test of a mid-call LTE to WCDMA transfer.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Finland expects LTE phones

    Finnish Internet users have access to the largest cities to use for high-speed 4G broadband connections. This year the 4G network population coverage is expected to reach 40-50 per cent, or thereabouts.

    Finland’s available online is a 4G-sticks, but not the actual LTE phones.

    In Finland, 4G subscriptions are marketed at present usually a monthly charge of € 40. (€ 20 with limited speed)

    In the United States the situation is different, where the phones are already sold widely. Also, Nokia’s phones, Windows-LTE Model 900 Snow is coming specifically for First American 4G networks.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4G Phones Are Really Fast — At Draining Batteries

    With Verizon’s 4G network covering a good chunk of the country and AT&T gaining ground, more smartphone users have access to the fastest wireless service available. But because 4G coverage isn’t truly continuous in many locations, users’ batteries are taking a big hit with 4G, as phones spend an lot of battery power trying to hunt down a signal. ‘You’ve got a situation where the phones are sending out their signals searching and searching for a 4G tower, and that eats up your battery,’

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In a suspect move, LightSquared calls for GPS design standards

    In its ongoing fight to launch its nationwide LTE service, LightSquared on Wednesday Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission to impose the first-ever standards on GPS device design, claiming such requirements would allow GPS and its 4G network to co-exist peacefully in the satellite bands. While LightSquared would appear to be taking the middle path, the proposal smacks of a political stunt.

    Even if the FCC agreed to establish such standards, the rulemaking process and implementing those design requirements would take years, while leaving millions of interference-prone devices in the market that would need to replaced or retrofitted.

    In order to prep the L-band for 4G, the government needs to create and enforce standards on the GPS devices to prevent them from stepping outside of their bands.

    But in this case, LightSquared is using principle as a cudgel to beat back the commercial GPS lobby so it can deploy its LTE network before it runs out of funding.

    Interference in the L-band is a big issue that will take years to fix.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LTE femtocells ready to take off as API ecosystem expands

    Vendors are rapidly preparing the LTE technology to meet operator demand, as witnessed by 17 manufacturers adopting the APIs for their upcoming LTE products, according to the Femto Forum.

    The LTE APIs enable interoperability between LTE femtocell semiconductors and protocol software from different vendors.

    “As operators plan LTE networks, small cells, including femtocells, could play a critical role in enabling the fastest possible data services in metropolitan and rural public spaces, as well as in private homes and offices,” said Alan Law, Chairman of the Femto Forum’s LTE SIG, in a statement.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Curtains for LightSquared? NTIA says GPS interference is unfixable

    LightSquared, the aspiring 4G wireless network built in the “L band” of spectrum has been under fire from the GPS industry for the last year over the interference the experimental network was shown to create for GPS receivers.

    “Based on NTIA’s independent evaluation of the testing and analysis performed over the last several months, we conclude that LightSquared’s proposed mobile broadband network will impact GPS services and that there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time,”

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FCC hangs up on 4G broadband biz LightSquared

    LightSquared’s brilliant plan was to use radio frequencies formerly reserved for satellite phones to build a ground-based network.

    Satellite operators are allowed to run ground-based transmitters, to fill in gaps caused by shadows and push the signal into buildings, but LightSquared got permission to drop the satellite capability from the handsets entirely.

    The US regulator has issued a statement saying it plans to suspend the waiver under which LightSquared was planning to build its national 4G network, putting the kibosh on the whole plan.

    The statement is in response to a letter from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which recommended the waiver be suspended – saying that it remained unconvinced that LightSquared could ever coexist happily with GPS systems.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Falcone’s Plan B: Swapping Airwaves

    LightSquared Inc. may seek to exchange its wireless airwave licenses for similar ones operated by the U.S. Department of Defense in a last-ditch effort to revive its mobile broadband service, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

    The swap is among several options the company is considering in response to the FCC action on Tuesday, those people said.

    LightSquared blew it, and here’s why

    LightSquared may have had a great case for building its wireless network, but the fledgling company lacked the political tact to see it through.

    LightSquared today fired back at the Federal Communications Commission, saying the agency’s decision to squash the company’s planned wireless network would harm the American public. But it appears to be too little, too late for the embattled company.

    “Politicians, rather than engineers and scientists, dictated the solution to the problem from Washington,” CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said in a statement issued today

    Why should you care about this startup only known in wireless circles? LightSquared’s planned 4G LTE network actually had the potential to threaten the way wireless business is conducted. LightSquared planned to act as a neutral wholesaler of wireless service. Any company looking to offer wireless service, or connect its gadget to a wireless network, could go to LightSquared.

    The opportunities that came from a brand new network, however, were overshadowed by the concerns brought up by the GPS industry. While most GPS equipment was shielded against interference, critical ones such as farming equipment, some aviation GPS equipment, and GPS devices used by the government were affected.

    “The FCC tried really hard to create a competitor out of thin air, and it badly backfired,” Entner said.

    LightSquared, meanwhile, already spent $4 billion on its planned network deployment and spectrum, and is left with what is essentially a toxic asset.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EU states must allow 4G Internet use on analogue TV spectrum by January 2013

    The rollout of 4G wireless data connectivity in Europe took a step forward today as the European Parliament approved plans to free up radio spectrum for this and other uses.

    The Programme includes a ruling that by 1 January 2013, EU member states will have to authorise the use of the 800 MHz band, currently used for remaining analogue TV transmissions, for wireless broadband, unless they can obtain an exemption by that date. This band is seen as particularly useful for transmitting data due to its ability to travel long distances without losing strength, and to penetrate buildings well. The digital TV switchover is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2012.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LightSquared scrabbles to save itself after FCC stops LTE plan

    LightSquared is reportedly trying to swap radio spectrum with the US military in an attempt to salvage its business model after the FCC pulled the rug from under the mobile broadband biz – but its customers are already abandoning it.

    The FCC has decided (or been told to decide, depending on whom one believes) that LightSquared’s network will never be able to coexist with GPS, and therefore can’t be allowed to exist, which leaves LightSquared almost $4bn out of pocket with customers waiting and a collaborative-infrastructure deal with Sprint on the table, but no usable radio spectrum within which to deploy a network.

    LightSquared owns two bands, one right beside the GPS band and one some way below it

    The FCC is certainly in a slightly embarrassing position. Ground components are allowed as part of the satellite-use licence, and LightSquared intended to exploit that loophole back in 2005. In 2010 the FCC added a coverage requirement to the licence, and, when the GPS industry started kicking up a fuss, a clause that required LightSquared to prove that it wouldn’t interfere with GPS signals.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    International Telecommunication Union ITU Radiocommunication Conference has decided to make 700 MHz frequency band for wireless broadband systems after 2015. The final decision is made in 2015 be held in Congress

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LightSquared Hires Lawyers To Prep For GPS Battle

    “Following Tuesday’s FCC ruling saying that the company’s LTE network interferes with GPS, LightSquared’s primary investor Philip Falcone is looking to sue the FCC and the GPS industry.”

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why LightSquared failed: It was science, not politics

    The seeds of LightSquared’s failure to win government clearance to build a 4G-LTE network can, ironically, be found in the “approval” the company received just 13 months ago.

    Despite the FCC’s glowing remarks about LightSquared, the conditional approval made it clear the plan would never gain final clearance unless it could be implemented without interfering with GPS devices. In a nutshell, LightSquared needed a special waiver because it is trying to use spectrum allocated for low-power space-to-ground transmissions for something it was not originally allocated for: high-power ground-only transmissions that could fuel a nationwide wireless mobile broadband network.

    Rather, most GPS devices are incapable of filtering out signals from adjacent frequencies—particularly when those signals are many times stronger than the signals GPS devices are supposed to receive.

    Blame GPS makers as much as you want, but interference is still a problem

    But given the simple reality that most current GPS devices cannot filter out LightSquared signals, government-commissioned studies have concluded that it would be impractical to force GPS makers to retrofit all existing devices in time for the mobile network’s proposed launch in 2012. If one just ignores the question of whose fault this is, the government has concluded that the GPS system is simply too important to disrupt.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Exclusive: LightSquared plans to cut 45 percent of workforce

    it will cut 45 percent of its 330-employee workforce

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia Siemens Networks delivers faster, more flexible 4G (HSPA+) #MWC12

    Presents first ever demo of HSPA+ Multiflow on commercial infrastructure equipment, delivering up to double the cell edge data speed

    Operators will be able to offer enhanced mobile broadband with a new feature for HSPA+ networks from Nokia Siemens Networks and Qualcomm*. Known as HSPA+ Multiflow, it allows devices located close to the edge of a mobile base station’s cell to connect with a second base station serving a neighboring cell. The ‘Multiflow’ name refers to the two different paths data can then take to reach a device.

    A live demonstration** at Mobile World Congress 2012 of the feature will be based on Nokia Siemens Networks’ commercial Single RAN offering and Qualcomm’s prototype USB dongles.

    HSPA+ Multiflow enables simultaneous transmission of two data streams from base stations in two adjacent cells to a single user device instead of one data stream from one base station as is the case with HSPA+*** today.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4G TV interference: Up to a million homes ‘need filters’

    Almost a million UK homes will need to have filters installed to prevent TV interference from 4G mobile signals – at a cost of £108m.
    The filter, which is fitted to a digital TV box, blocks out unwanted noise from the 4G signal.

    A smaller number of homes – about 10,000 – will need to switch to satellite or cable TV services in order to avoid degraded picture quality.
    Costs will be met by the winner of a spectrum auction later this year.

    It is also predicted that about 500 homes affected by interference will be unable to receive satellite or cable services. Other solutions needs to be solved for them.

    “The LTE [Long Term Evolution] spectrum, particularly on 800Mhz, overlaps part of the DTT spectrum,”

    “The closer you are to a base station, the more disruptive the interference.”

    “Next-generation mobile services are essential for economic growth. They will bring an estimated benefit of £2-3bn to the UK economy. “

  22. Tomi says:

    T-Mobile Announces LTE Network

    T-Mobile USA has announced that it will be launching an LTE network in 2013 using the money and AWS spectrum that it obtained from AT&T after its failed acquisition. According to T-Mobile, this upgrade comprises of a three-phase process: free up 2G spectrum, move HSPA+ to formerly 2G spectrum, and deploy LTE on formerly HSPA+ spectrum.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    By 1 January 2013, EU member states will have to authorise the use of the 800 MHz band, currently used for remaining analogue TV transmissions, for wireless broadband.

    When 800 MHz is taken for LTE use, some problems for TV reception are expected.

    Ofcom needs you … to help spend £180m on purifying telly
    Views sought on Freeview-4G interference

    Ofcom is consulting on the best way to avoid 4G telephony knocking out Freeview, but the regulator seems to be having a hard time putting government plans into words.

    Yesterday the Ministry of Fun announced that bidders for digital dividend spectrum would have to shell out £180m for mitigation to avoid LTE services knocking out Freeview transmissions, now Ofcom is trying to work out how to put that into action despite the continuing gaps in government’s plan.

    Freeview is at risk ‘cos the mega-action includes a band just above the digital transmissions, known as the “800MHz band”. But as Ofcom’s analysis points out, it is neighbouring frequencies which can interfere with television transmission; the nature of the signals mean that anyone using LTE in the 800MHz band can contribute to the interference experienced by up to quarter of a million UK households.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ericsson plays standards cards to LTE win

    Ericsson played the standards game for a winning hand in LTE, according to a missive from an ABI Research analyst here at the Mobile World Congress. They are neither the first nor the last to play that game.

    “From 2005 until 1H 2011, Ericsson has made the most approved contributions to the LTE radio access network (RAN) standard,” says Philip Solis, research director for mobile devices at ABI, speaking 9in a press statement. “This is one of several reasons why Ericsson is a leader in LTE,” he said.

    Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks together had the second highest number of contributions

    “Companies’ contributions are indirectly related to patents, but are still a means of detecting which companies are pushing their intellectual property into the standard,” said Solis in the statement.

    Of course in the comms field, standards are key. New flavors of Ethernet and optical modules don’t have a commercial life until some IEEE group or Multi-Source Agreement has explicitly backed them.

    The game of taking a pro-active or even hyper-active role in standards setting is not confined to comms. Since before I came the EE Times, chip and systems companies have been using this tactic to tune industry norms to be in harmony with their agendas and road maps.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    T-Mobile USA will skip 84Mbps HSPA+ and go straight to LTE

    Logically, the decision to skip 84Mbps makes sense — the HSPA+ technology roadmap may still have plenty of runway, but LTE has even more. And considering that T-Mobile needs to invest capital into the refarming operation either way, it may as well get LTE under its belt.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LightSquared’s CEO resigns as FCC moves to kill 4G network

    The CEO of LightSquared resigned on Tuesday as the company battles to save a planned high-speed cellphone network that regulators are moving to kill.

    The president’s top adviser on telecom issues, Lawrence Strickling, determined there was “no practical way” to fix the interference problem.

    Testing showed that LightSquared’s signal does not bleed into the GPS band. Instead, the problem is that GPS receivers are too sensitive to filter out LightSquared’s powerful cell towers operating on nearby frequencies.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Faster mobile data: the road to 4G

    Existing mobile networks have two, parallel infrastructures: one, circuit-switched, for voice calls, and a separate, packet-switched layer for data traffic. 4G is a pure packet-switched TCP/IP network, running everything over IPv6. Voice becomes just another data type.

    By the time the ITU defined IMT Advanced, two competing systems were already under development, each formed from the two 3G systems. A group called 3GPP (3G Partnership Project) developed LTE (Long Term Evolution), a successor to UMTS. Meanwhile, the totally separate 3GPP2 was working on UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband), an upgrade to Qualcomm’s CDMA2000.

    Exit one LTE rival, enter another

    Fortunately, Qualcomm stopped working on UMB in 2008 and switched its efforts to LTE. As a result UMB is now effectively dead. So everyone is working to the same plan then? Not quite. Muddying the waters, the ITU said WiMax can be called a 4G technology too.

    LTE, meanwhile, is being rolled out. But it’s not 4G, whatever the telcos’ marketing departments say: it maxes out at a trifling 100Mb/s down and 50Mb/s upstream. If anything, it’s 3.9G.

    LTE – aka 3GPP Release 8 – delivers a lot of 4G’s planned key benefits

    LTE can get away with claiming to be 4G because of some ITU sleight of hand. In

    Finally, true 4G

    LTE Advanced is 3GPP Release 10, a compatible enhancement of LTE designed to bring the technology up to the ITU 4G speed stipulations.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China Will Not Issue 4G Licenses for Another 2 to 3 Years, Says Officia

    China will likely wait another two or three years to issue 4G licenses for LTE TDD networks, a top government official said, citing the need to build more 4G base stations, and to allow vendors time to develop handsets that can take advantage of the high-speed networks.

    The country currently has 220,000 TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) base stations, but the government wants to expand their numbers to a total of 400,000 before offering 4G licenses, Miao Wei, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said during an interview on Thursday with local state-owned TV.

    The ministry is currently holding large-scale 4G trials using LTE TDD (Long-Term Evolution Time-Division Duplex) technology, also known as TD-LTE in China.

    China plans to roll out LTE TDD by upgrading existing base stations that use the 3G TD-SCDMA standard, Miao said. The effort will take about three years time, he added.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NPD: seven percent of all US smartphones sold in Q4 2011 were LTE-enabled, six percent WiMAX

    According to an NPD Group study released today, over 35 percent of US smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2011 were 4G-enabled, up from six percent last year. Of course, what “4G” means is up for debate; for the purposes of this study, 14.4Mbps-capable HSPA+ phones like the relabeled iPhone 4S counted. Not surprisingly, then, 62.9 percent of “4G” smartphones sold in the quarter were of the HSPA+ variety, followed up by 20 percent from LTE devices, and 17.1 percent from WiMAX phones.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LightSquared Satellite Disabled By Last Week’s Solar Storm

    Troubled LightSquared’s primary Skyterra 1 satellite has been out of service since the solar storm on March 7.

    Maybe they’ll use this as an excuse for bankruptcy/liquidation/etc. “Don’t blame us, blame the Sun.”

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sprint to hit the eject button in LightSquared deal today
    Light at the end of the tunnel winks out

    The Wall Street Journal reckons Sprint is going to pull out of its deal with LightSquared later today, leaving the box-of-frogs mobile broadband biz with nothing but $65m and a top-flight legal team.

    This time around it seems that Sprint’s patience has run out.

    The winner here is ClearWire, pioneers of the WiMAX standard which proved a duff bet. ClearWire is busy deploying LTE these days, and has been moping up LightSquared customers as they jump ship, so we’d expect to see a triumphant press release from them pretty soon if Sprint is hitting the eject button.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It’s the battery, stupid: The looming 4G smartphone crisis

    This week J.D. Power and Associates put out its 2012 smartphone customer satisfaction survey, and the results bear this out. The study shows that battery life is one of the most important factors in determining whether people love or hate their phones. Owners of 4G phones were less happy with their devices’ batteries than owners of 3G phones, mainly because 4G phones don’t live as long as 3G ones.

    That underlines a looming problem in the smartphone business, one that will haunt every manufacturer and may undermine the post-PC revolution over the next few years: Every year, everything about phones keeps getting better—except the battery. In fact, that’s kind of the problem. Because manufacturers keep adding extra features to phones—especially more powerful processors, displays and networking—battery life remains stuck.

    The move to 4G LTE phones will put this problem into stark relief.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    For decades pain is the fact that in Asia, Europe and the United States has been in use for mobile networks of different standards. 4g-generation LTE technology, it was hoped that a decisive, but it has not proven to be so simple yet.

    U.S. and Canadian 4G networks directed feature works 700, 1900 and 2100 MHz frequencies

    Europe, 4G networks are built along the lines of the EU-800, 1800 and 2600 MHz frequencies. Sweden and Germany, 800 MHz networks, the construction has already begun.

    Spectrum is therefore a wide range, which can slow down the 4G technology diffusion. But are not smartphones and tablets could support all of these frequencies?
    “A number of frequencies per se are not a problem. In many commercial devices are in use for up to six or eight frequencies”

    In Europe, operators have built such a comprehensive 3G network, that there is no panic to upgrade for LTE technology. Especially when the 3G network download speeds can be increased in theory, more than 40 Mbps Dual Carrier HSDPA (dc-hssdpa) technology. However, this is limited, at least so far only the cities in Finland 2100 MHz networks.


  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New iPad 4G real-world speed test: You’re the winner

    Despite its mundane and nondescriptive name, the new iPad (third generation) is actually the first 4G device from Apple.

    CNET editor Dong Ngo stacks the Verizon version of the new iPad against AT&T’s counterpart and finds that the fast 4G speeds make mobile users the winners.

    Unlike the fight between 3G devices, both versions of the iPad were really fast in my testing.

    In fact, in my trials, regardless of where I was around town, all Internet applications worked instantly of either of the iPads. There was no lag or buffer time for video streaming. It was really a big difference moving from a 3G device. For this reason, as far as the connection speed is concerned, the winner this time is actually you, the user.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Video Speed Trap Lurks in New iPad
    Users Find the Superfast 4G Link Carries a Big Cost: Churning Through Data Limits in Mere Hours

    Two hours of college basketball—which he viewed mounted to his car dashboard and live at tournament games—had burned through his monthly wireless data allotment of two gigabytes.

    Mr. Wells will have to pay an extra $10 for every gigabyte above his current $30 subscription.

    “It streams really fast video, but by streaming really fast video you tend to watch more video, and that’s not always best.”

    The iPad’s new high-resolution screen and fast connection are specifically designed to spur greater use of online video—a long-stated goal for phone companies as well as technology purveyors such as Apple and Google Inc. GOOG -0.08% Telecom companies in particular are banking on mobile video to drum up demand for their new, fourth-generation networks and create new revenue streams as they adjust to the smartphone age.

    Verizon declined to comment on its pricing strategy, but said customers can pick higher-use plans or they can go easier on their data allotments by shifting to Wi-Fi networks when they are available.

    What many consumers may not realize is the new iPad’s faster LTE connection means they will use more data even if they don’t change their 3G surfing habits. Take regular video: Verizon estimates that streaming it over an LTE connection runs through 650 megabytes an hour. That’s double the amount of data used streaming the same video over a 3G link, because the fatter pipe lets more data through.

    On top of that, the new iPad’s sharper screen will encourage some users to view videos in high-definition, which uses 2 gigabytes an hour on a 4G connection, according to Verizon.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The new generation of smartphone sales tenfold in 2012
    4G phones marketed in the LTE-phone sales tenfold this year, predicts market research firm Strategy Analytics.

    This year is a 4G technology, a breakthrough in the market, Strategy Analytics said.

    The research company forecasts that this year, sold 67 million LTE phone. Last year, the phones were sold to an estimated 6.8 million units.

    Operators to market their technology LTE phones with 4G handsets. 4G will have an own, more advanced standards, but the LTE and 4G have already become synonymous in marketing.

    - The mobile industry is going to a breakthrough year for 4G LTE technology. A number of operators and a number of phones distributors, to launch its LTE models for dozens of different countries, Vice President Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics said.


  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Huawei claims 30Gbps wireless “beyond LTE”

    Huawei claims to have developed technology “beyond LTE” that is capable of delivering data at 30Gbps, but has given scant information, in particular what bandwidth is required to achieve this.

    Huawei says it has “recently introduced…Beyond LTE technology, which significantly increases peak rates to 30Gbps – over 20 times faster than existing commercial LTE networks.”

    The current LTE standard is designed to operate with a maximum of 20MHz of contiguous bandwidth and specifies a maximum downstream data rate of 300Mbps.

    The LTE-Advanced specification is for up to 100MHz of bandwidth, which need not be contiguous and up to 8×8 MIMO (eight transmit and eight receive antennas) and a maximum downstream bandwidth of 3.3Gbps.

    However it appears that Huawei is using much greater bandwidth.

    The company has given no indication of how its technology aligns with standards for LTE Advanced, nor when it might be commercially available.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobile operators mourn death of embedded 4G

    Mobile operators are giddy at the prospect of doubling, tripling or quadrupling the number of devices connected to their networks over the coming years. Next generation portable devices such as tablets, laptops, cloudbooks and Ultrabooks are seen as candidates for 3G/4G integration that will help shore up the carrier position now that handset penetration has hit the saturation ceiling. However, considering that these gadgets will be used overwhelmingly on Wi-Fi networks, it’s difficult to justify integrating cellular functionality now that most consumers are walking around with a Wi-Fi hotspot in their pocket: their smartphone.

    According to industry analyst Chetan Sharma, about 90 per cent of tablets sold in the US towards the end of 2011 were Wi-Fi only. This is not surprising considering the ubiquity of Wi-Fi. And for the occasions when Wi-Fi isn’t available, there’s tethering.

    All major smartphone platforms now support tethering – the ability to share the phone’s mobile broadband connection – normally with up to five devices. Tethering effectively turns the handset into a Wi-Fi hotspot, using the 3G/4G connection as backhaul. The normal limit of five devices is a bit of a joke since, unless a user plans on running their own internet café, it’s hard to imagine a use-case which would require sharing so many concurrent devices.

    The beauty of tethering on these smartphones is the simplicity.

    So the question is: why do I need a cellular modem inside my tablet or ultrabook, especially when integrated cellular broadband comes at a significant cost premium and normally requires an additional mobile data plan?

    Admittedly, there’s a catch with tethering. A concessionary gifts which the likes of Apple and Microsoft and have made to mobile operators with their respective smartphone OSes is the ability to easily detect tethering activity, as well as the option to disable the tethering function. As a result, subsidised smartphones sold by carriers can have the tethering function hidden, unless the subscriber is on a tariff which allows tethering. Or the subscriber can be pushed onto a more expensive tariff if tethered usage is detected.

    There’s something fundamentally wrong with operators charging for something I’m already paying for.

    The tethering premium can be steep. In the UK I’m paying Vodafone an additional $8 a month to have tethering enabled on my iPhone, but AT&T’s premium in the US is $20.

    From my experience, tethering is policed by carriers with the iPhone, but less so with Android.

    Amazon’s decision not to release a 3G flavour of its Kindle Fire tablet shows that Wi-Fi as the dominant use-case – with tethering as a Plan B – is accepted by OEMs.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4G Confusion Reigns: Apple in Hot Water Over iPad Labeling Abroad

    The iPad’s super-speedy 4G LTE capabilities may be a no-go for some international users. New iPad owners in Australia and Europe are finding this out the hard way, highlighting the continued confusion about consumers’ understanding of 4G.

    Apple has been embroiled in a legal battle Down Under over whether Australian consumers were misled about 4G compatibility with the country’s Telstra network.

    “Apple’s recent promotion of the new ‘iPad with WiFi + 4G’ is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wrote in a statement Tuesday.

    Apple insists it has been clear about LTE availability with the device, but conceded to refund iPad owners who felt misled. Other countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark could soon be following Australia’s lead.

    “A guy from the Apple Store told me [the new iPad's 4G] will work in Germany. If it is not working, in my opinion this would be a deliberate deception!” commenter Romano81 posted in one of Apple’s forums. “Apple should give a clear statement on this whether it works or not.”

    “If somebody has already accepted the name of 4G for HSPA+, this device can do that,” Sideco said. “You’re just not getting the LTE speeds. And one could argue in certain situations (like sub-10MHz channels, for instance), that HSPA+ and LTE are on par.”

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IEEE Vet: Carriers Capping LTE Services To Avoid Fixed-line Cannibalization

    Roberto Saracco isn’t buying carriers’ claims that they need to put data caps on their LTE services due to excessive traffic causing massive engineering challenges. Saracco, a senior member of the IEEE and the director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre, said during an interview Tuesday that the major reason carriers are placing data caps on their LTE services is to prevent users from going exclusively with wireless data services and ditching their landline connections.

    Carriers cap LTE services to avoid fixed-line cannibalization, says IEEE’s Saracco

    Roberto Saracco isn’t buying carriers’ claims that they need to put data caps on their LTE services due to excessive traffic causing massive engineering challenges.

    “You’re always going to want to make the maximum amount of value,” he said. “And you don’t want to have your fixed-line network being cannibalized by mobile.”

    Saracco also said that while carriers have been marketing LTE for its bandwidth and download speeds, the real benefit of LTE is that it provides users with a native IP connection, which in the long run will provide cheaper wireless connectivity for users than previous cellular technologies such as HSPA and EV-DO.

    This may seem somewhat counterintuitive given that carriers are currently charging a premium for LTE services. Saracco said carriers are able to do this because they’ve successfully marketed LTE as a game-changer in terms of providing data speeds to smartphones and tablets. However, Saracco said most smartphone users don’t require LTE-level data speeds to meet their needs and predicts that consumers will start to pay less for LTE connectivity once more competitors hit the market.

    “My feeling is that if you’re using a smartphone you’re never going to need this kind of [LTE] speed,” he said. “It’s a different story if you’re using a dongle on your laptop and you’re downloading a really big file.”

    The wireless industry has been moving away from all-you-can-eat data plans over the past couple of years and toward tiered service plans that place caps on monthly data consumption.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    3G and 4G Wireless Speed Showdown: Which Networks Are Fastest?

    We tested 3G and 4G wireless data transfer speeds–indoors and out–for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, at multiple locations in 13 major cities. Here’s what we found.

    “Our research shows that the demand on mobile broadband networks is nearly doubling every year, so there is definitely no room to remain idle” said Dan Hays, U.S. advisory wireless leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). “The results of this year’s PCWorld study clearly show that most wireless network operators are continuing to invest significantly in their 3G networks, adding capacity to ensure that speeds remain competitive.”

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple claims Aussie 3G is so good it’s 4G
    Novel defence for Australian iPad 4G connection claims

    Apple has hit back at claims it misled Australian buyers of “the new iPad” with the unusual defense that Australia’s 3G networks are so fast they are in fact 4G in all but name.

    Cupertino has been taken to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after is began an investigation into complaints from Australian customers that the latest fondleslab won’t work with the local 4G network offered by Telestra, operating at1800MHz.

    Instead it uses the 2100MHz spectrum used by providers using HSPA+, which Apple claims is 4G in all but name, something the local telecommunications company have seemingly ignored and continue to brand as 3G.

    The case has highlighted the confusion caused by the International Telecommunications Union when it altered its guidance on what actually constitutes 4G in the first place.

    Certainly in the US a whole range of slightly faster than 3G services are now called 4G, whereas the EU tends to be stricter in its terminology. Quite what the Australian courts will decide on the issue remains to be seen

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The LTE Mobile Gaming Revolution

    Slow connections speeds cause two big problems for mobile gamers:

    1. Control responsiveness: Let’s say you’re flying a spaceship, and trying to shoot down an enemy ship. There’s a lag between when you press the Fire button and when your laser cannon fires. Even if the lag is a millisecond, it can ruin the multiplayer gaming experience.

    2. Opponent movement: There’s another lag before your laser hits another player’s ship and it blows up. The challenge with 3G, and even sometimes Wi-Fi, is that the other ship is flying faster than your network’s ability to register your laser shots.In a perfect gaming scenario, both player’s computers would be in perfect sync. But when your network lags, syncing your movements can be a challenge. Your enemy isn’t where its supposed to be, and you’re shooting at ghosts.

    LTE has the potential to solve both of these latency issues—and to revolutionize mobile gaming much as high-speed Internet revolutionized console and PC gaming.

    LTE has the potential to solve both of these latency issues—and to revolutionize mobile gaming much as high-speed Internet revolutionized console and PC gaming.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4G – pure hype?

    4G provides a fast connection, but will be more expensive. And is it even a significant benefit to the average consumer?

    - Speed ​​is further improved up to the network. It is useful, for example, if you send photos to someone, Saxen says.

    Petteri Järvinen says that 4G is not for mobile use just about any benefits, because smartphones have small screens and limited memory capacity.

    - Very high speed does not make sense to use, for example, because few people to download high definition movies on your smartphone, Järvinen says.

    USB Online Stick is a wholly different matter, because the computer can be faster to download large files or connect stick to your TV.

    According to experts, 4G has a lot of features that make the hype is justified. Pricing will be on a crucial role in 4G’s popularity.


  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Evolution of LTE TDD

    With the emergence of smart devices, people are downloading content in unprecedented volumes, putting stress on the network. As a result, wireless operators globally are facing increasing demand for high speed mobile broadband services. More and more users are flocking to such bandwidth-consuming applications as YouTube and Netflix, leaving operators searching for technology to stay ahead of this ever-growing demand.

    Many operators are looking to LTE as the de facto global standard for mobile broadband technology due to its cost savings, high spectral efficiency, mobility and interoperability. Even with LTE, however, operators see a need to offload their data traffic in order to provide users with wireline-like speed and capabilities. According to a recent report by Qualcomm, while LTE allows operators to use new, wider spectrum and complements existing 3G networks to handle even more mobile traffic, radio link improvement is fast approaching the theoretical limit and the spectrum available to operators is often limited and expensive.

    In a race for providing a wireline-like experience to wireless users, operators are not leaving any stone unturned.

    Just when operators are at a point where they have exhausted all possible data offload approaches, Time Division Duplex (TDD) in the form of LTE shines through. TDD has the potential to be positioned as a complementary solution to Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) networks, bringing additional capacity to congested areas, opening up a new way of data offload and backhaul for small cell deployments.

    There are two modes of operation for LTE technology: FDD and TDD, which are technically very similar and part of the same radio access specification. LTE FDD and TDD were both defined and introduced as part of the 3GPP specification in 2009 to make efficient use of paired and unpaired spectrum allocations over a common, core network architecture. The main differences are around the duplex method used.

    In both LTE FDD and LTE TDD, the transmitted signal is organized into subframes of one millisecond (ms) duration and 10 subframes constitute a radio frame. Each subframe normally consists of 14 orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) symbols (12 OFDM symbols in an extended cyclic prefix). Although the frame structure is, in most respects, the same for LTE FDD and LTE TDD, there are some differences between the two—most notably the use of special subframes in TDD. The subframes in TDD are allocated either for uplink (UL) or downlink (DL) transmission.

    In TDD operation, there is only a single carrier frequency, and UL and DL transmissions in the cell are always separated in time

    TDD makes it relatively easy to dynamically change the capacity ratio between UL and DL to reallocate time slots, which makes it well suited for today’s DL-heavy traffic pattern.

    Beyond the regional deployments of TD-SCDMA, TDD wasn’t deployed widely in 3G networks, but it has great potential in LTE. The operator community was originally hesitant to adopt this new technology due to its similarity to WiMAX, but has since discovered that TDD and FDD technologies can co-exist nicely and is now supportive of a new market with TDD LTE.

    FDD is still leading the game, however. Most commercial LTE networks are based on FDD because the FDD ecosystem is more mature and is still where most of the spectrum allocation is done. All major operators around the world are already acquiring wide bands of FDD spectrum for their 4G LTE networks, which is well suited for voice because it is inherently symmetric in the UL and DL. In addition, FDD can provide better coverage of a larger area due to the fixed DL/UL on different frequencies.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel chums up with Huawei for Oriental style flexible 4G push
    Eastern fancy for time-duplexing not so inscrutable

    Intel will set up an interoperability testing site in China, with local firm Huawei, to ensure its TD-LTE kit will work properly even if no-one seems very interested in using it.

    The two companies will work together on the testing site to be focused on ensuring compatibility with the Time Division Duplex variant of the LTE standard. TDD LTE will be deployed in China for 4G telephony, and US operation Clearwire will be switching to the standard next year. It also has spectrum allocations in India, the UK and elsewhere despite overwhelming (and unfathomable) industry preference for FDD technologies.

    Huawei is providing TD-LTE infrastructure to India’s Bharti Airtel amongst others, so compatibility with the emerging standard is worth having even if western operators remain largely wedded to the FDD version of the standard.

    Frequency Division Duplexing uses separate, and equally-sized, frequency bands for sending and receiving signals. That works well for voice where the traffic is roughly equal, but for data services an asynchronous rate becomes more sensible and can be delivered using TDD which uses a single channel swapped between sending and receiving as required.

    It might seem an obvious improvement – dynamically-adjusted asynchronous speeds in less-ridged blocks of spectrum at the cost of some latency (~20ms as opposed to the 12ms possible with FDD) – but the telecommunications industry is firmly locked into the idea of separate channels for sending and receiving.

    Network operators, and many regulators, even measure radio spectrum in paired blocks – referring to 2x15MHz rather than 30MHz or even just claiming to only own 15MHz of spectrum despite that being only half of a pair, to the confusion of outsiders.

    But TDD lets companies deploy mobile data into less-structured blocks of spectrum, as demonstrated by UK Broadband.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Verizon’s LTE-powered in-home broadband goes national

    Verizon’s HomeFusion Broadband service uses 4G LTE muscle to power the Internet in homes across the U.S.

    Verizon’s HomeFusion LTE will zip into homes through professionally-installed antennae receivers affixed on the outside of the house (this will cost you $199.99), then transmit signal to a Wi-Fi router inside the house. Using Wi-Fi, customers can connect up to 20 devices. Customers should expect downlink speeds of between 5Mbps and 12Mbps and uplink speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 5Mbps.

    Verizon envisions HomeFusion as an alternative to traditional residential broadband, especially for those with fewer options in their area.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Verizon’s HomeFusion now brings 4G LTE home, but not for cheap

    For $199 and a monthly service fee, the HomeFusion Broadband device pulls Verizon’s 4G LTE down into your house.

    Need a fast broadband connection but live where cable or other wired data solutions are scarce? Not to worry says Verizon, that is if you by chance dwell within its 4G LTE footprint. The new HomeFusion Broadband service latches onto nearby LTE wireless signals and funnels them down into the home.

    The weather resistant antenna then attaches to a standard coax cable, which plugs into a broadband modem/gateway unit that sits indoors preferably in an office, den, or living room setting. The modem also acts as both a wired and wireless router sharing its Internet link among four Ethernet ports and up to 20 devices via Wi-Fi.

  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple forced to change name of iPad Wi-Fi + 4G

    It seems that international pressure sometimes works, as criticism of the iPad Wi-Fi + 4G name — which in many countries isn’t actually 4G, has finally caused a name change to iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular.

    Every time I see “4G” there is a temptation to wonder what it truly means.

    However, in Australia and other countries, many have been upset for some time now that Apple’s iPad Wi-Fi version was called “iPad Wi-Fi + 4G.”

    Their complaints were naturally complicated and technical, but boiled down to this: It isn’t.

    However, in Australia, Apple has a clarification on its iPad page. It reads: “This product supports very fast cellular networks. It is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks.”

  50. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LightSquared Moves Toward Bankruptcy

    Hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. venture was preparing Sunday to file for bankruptcy protection after negotiations with lenders to avoid a potential debt default faltered, said people familiar with the matter.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *