Long Term Evolution

Long Term Evolution
(first draft)
Long Term Evolution
Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the next generation of radio communication, which
is acknowledged as fourth generation of mobile communications (4G), have been
designed to increase data rates in mobile communications networks.LTE is an extension
to Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems (UMTS) which is part of International
Telecommunication Union-Radiocommunications sector) set the standard IMTadvanced, where number of objective have been defined in order to meet IMTAdvanced standard such as data rates of 100Mbit/s between any two points in the
world, high quality of services to support the next multimedia generation, smooth
handoff among networks, more spectral efficient systems, Seamless connectivity and
global roaming across multiple networks. Although 4G will upgrade existing
communication networks and is expected to provide a comprehensive and secure IP
(internet protocol) based solution, where facilities such as voice, data and streamed
multimedia will be provided to users on an "Anytime, Anywhere" basis and at much
higher data rates compared to previous generations, there is a number of speculations
raised particularly in marketing issues. However, WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for
Microwave Accessa), another competing technology, trying to meet IMT-standards and
become the future dominant technology. The competition between 4G and WiMax have
lead to Multiple speculations in testing ,manufacturing, marketing and the migration
path of operators to meet LTE standards.
Mobile telecommunications have been advancing since the first generation was
introduced.1 G was all about voice ,purely analogue system, where Frequency Division
Multiple Access (FDMA) scheme were used to access the spectrum. FDMA nowadays
would not help operators to compete as the number of mobile users are increasing and
higher data rates are required to satisfy users. During the 1990’s the second
generation(2G) were introduced which famously known as GSM (Global system for
mobile communication). 2G used TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) which is much
more efficient in using the spectrum and provided a higher data rates. Then, the
switching from circuit switching to Packet switching systems best describes 2.5G(tow
and half generation of mobile communication) where digital age started.2.75 G which is
known as EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution ) provide data rates of
144kbits/s and used CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) which enhanced data
transmission and made it possible to browse the web. However, this generation was not
Long Term Evolution
efficient enough to overcome Local Area Networks (LAN’s) neither in speed nor
comfortableness in connecting to the internet.
3G provided much higher speeds of 14.4Mbit/s and used enhanced version of
CDMA which is CDMA-2000 . Even higher data rates of 42 Mbit/s were introduced with
HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) which is also known as 3.5G and use d WCDMA (wide band-CDMA). High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) or 3.75G was
suggested to become 4G before the introduction of IMT-Advanced and because HSUPA
enhanced the uplink data rates for 3.5G users only.
Testing these technologies become harder as the technology advanced. At the
beginning it was relatively easy to test these technologies and provide monitoring
equipments since the number of manufacturers were small and used almost similar
techniques in manufacturing communications equipments. By the time 2.5G introduced
testing methods have to be changed and become independent of network vendors
(Harris, 2009).operators had more flexibility to integrate different brands into their
networks. Standardized testing were introduced for 3G which involved additional
measurement techniques. (Harris, 2009)
As IMT-advanced recommends up to 1Gbit/s data rates and testing of HSPA is
still challenging. 4G testing techniques is still vague particularly that the industry needs
more specific definition of 4G. (Harris, 2009)
Mobile technology manufacturers have played an important role to drive the
telecommunication market by pushing service providers to adopt their technology.
However, since 4G and mobile WiMax are about to be deployed manufacturers are
confused since the market is divided according to the speculations and surveys
conducted among the industry.56% of service providers are developing or planning to
develop 4G networks while 36% for Wimax (Wiggins,2008). The important factor for
manufacturers is availability of the technology in the market which will decide between
4G and WiMax. (Wiggins, 2008)
It used to be manufacturers who decide the path for service providers. However,
it seems that it is more likely about service providers’ call. Most of service providers
have invested a lot of money in their networks and it seems with the introduction of
IPv6 they are thinking of integrating their different networks in what is known as clods
of IPs in order to minimize their cost of not changing too much of their networks.
4G and WiMax goal is to provide comfort to service providers in order to smooth
network integration.4G is an extension to the existing networks while WiMax is more
Long Term Evolution
spectrum efficient and less expensive (Wiggins, 2008).Therefore, decision makers in
telecommunication industry could face many challenges since it is no longer a matter of
using the available technologies , it’s the matter of making it available.
Usually when handset manufactures provides new technology the price of
handsets increases. Most of the manufacturers include a royalty cost to their products
which is around 15% of the total price. Since most manufacturers provide both handsets
and networks elements. It seems that exclusive handsets for 4G is impossible idea since
it is not an overnight process to change to 4G just like what happed switching to 3G. it
is important for manufacturers to lower their royalty fees on their products in order to
add incentives to make the technology available.(Bell,2009)
Mass adoption of 4G depends mainly on making technology available which is on
the hand of service providers and by lowering royalty coast of handsets (Bell,2009). In
some countries handsets prices are not included in the service providers contract.
Therefore, in such markets it is probably harder to market new products without the
help of service providers.
Market and telecommunication industry expect that 4G will be released by the end of
this last year. However, Verizon Wireless announces that it will begin offering commercial LTE
service in 2010. For the past three years communication communities around the world have
expected that LTE technologies will be ready in 2008. It is always the case with new technology;
industries anticipate release new technologies ahead of time.
Most telecom specialists are overwhelmed with LTE specifications and cannot wait
longer for LTE to enter the commercial stage. Although some refer this latency for2008/2009
recession, communication market has suffered a lot because of the technological advancement
gives almost no room for investment depreciation. Moreover, all kind of speculations regarding
testing ,manufacturing, marketing and the migration path of operators to meet LTE
standards made the service providers more hesitant to introduce this new technology
on trial basis.
Long Term Evolution
-Bell, G.(2009). Will 4G get stuck in the patent trap? Electronics Weekly, 2375.pp8-8
- Harris, L. (2009). Testing times: from 1G to 4G. Electronics Weekly, 2372.pp8-9
- Wiggins, R. (2008). 4G migration paths: WiMAX vs. LTE. RCR Wireless News,
27, No.21.pp11-11