LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the global standard for the fourth generation of mobile networks (4G) supported by all major players in the industry. LTE offers the capacity and the speed to handle a rapid increase in data traffic. According to latest Ericsson Mobility Report, there will be 9,3 billion mobile subscriptions in 2019. 65% of the world's population will have LTE coverage 2019.
Currently 244 LTE operators have launched commercial services. 499 operators are investing in LTE in 143 different countries. (GSA December 2013)
Performance and capacity – One of the requirements of LTE is to provide downlink peak rates of at least 100Mbps. The technology allows for speeds more than 300Mbps and Ericsson has already demonstrated the next step of LTE at the MWC 2010 with theoretical peak rates up to 1.2Gbps.
Simplicity – LTE supports flexible carrier bandwidths, from 1.4MHz up to 20MHz. LTE also supports frequency division duplexing (FDD) and time division duplexing (TDD).
Latency – The user plane latency achieved in LTE is less than in existing 3G technologies providing a direct service advantage for highly immersive and interactive application environments, such as multiplayer gaming and rich multimedia communications.
Wide range of terminals – In addition to LTE dongles and mobile phones, many computer and consumer electronic devices, such as notebooks, ultra-portables, gaming devices and cameras, will incorporate embedded LTE modules.
The fast evolution of mobile communication over the last decades plays a central role in the daily life of practically every person on Earth. It is a fundamental part to the global economy and will play an even more vital part for most aspects of global progress in the decades to come.
With mobile broadband the pace and possibilities in communication has picked up. Just consider:
The introduction of LTE will be an evolutionary step, rather than revolutionary, as large parts of existing infrastructure is re-used providing a future-proof technology path for flexible migration of services between 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies.
Even though 3G will continue to do a perfectly good job in delivering broadband to billions of mobile users for many years to come, LTE will be essential in order to meet customer expectations and demand for speed and capacity enabling more data demanding and latency sensitive applications such as interactive TV, mobile video blogging, advanced games and professional services.
LTE will be a main driver for innovation in the years to come, enabling the next Google, Facebook or iPhone and opening doors to possibilities in a number of new areas like utilities transport, health, media to name a few.
Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services.
* Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
More than 180 LTE RAN and Evolved Packet Core networks have been delivered worldwide to more than 70 countries, of which more than 110 have gone live commercially. (By end of Q3, 2013)
List of operators that have selected Ericsson’s LTE/EPC offer:*
3 - Denmark
3 - Italy
3 - Sweden
A1 - Austria
Alfa - Lebanon
AT&T - Puerto Rico
AT&T - USA
Batelco - Bahrain
Bhutan Telecom - Bhutan
Bouygues telecom - France
DNA - Finland
Cellcom - Israel
China Mobile HK - Hong Kong
Claro - Brazil
CMHK - Hong Kong (FDD+TDD)
eAccess - Japan
EastLink - Canada
EMT - Estonia
Energy Australia - Australia
Entel – Chile
Etisalat - United Arab Emirates
KT - South Korea
LGU+ - South Korea
Magyar Telecom - Hungary
MetroPCS - USA
Mobily - Saudi Arabia
M-Tel - Bulgaria
MTN - South Africa
MTS - Canada
MTS - Russia
NBN Co - Australia (TD-LTE)
NetAmerica Alliance - USA
NTTDoCoMo - Japan
O2 – United Kingdom
Oi - Brazil
Omantel - Oman
Open Mobile - Puerto Rico
Orange - France
Polkomtel - Poland
Real Future – Thailand
Rogers - Canada
Siminn – Iceland
Singtel – Singapore
SK Telecom - South Korea
SmarTone - Hong Kong
Sprint - USA
Softbank - Japan
STC - Saudi Arabia
Swisscom - Switzerland
T-Mobile - USA
Telcel - Mexico
Tele2 - Norway
Telecom Slovenije - Slovenia
TDC - Denmark
TeliaSonera - Sweden (World’s first),
Telstra - Australia
Tier3 contracts - USA
- Adams NetWorks (Illinois)
- Appalachian Wireless (Kentucky)
- Agri-Valley Communications (Michigan)
- Bluegrass Cellular (Kentucky)
- Carolina West (North Carolina)
- Cellcom (Wisconsin)
- Chariton Valley (Missouri)
- Chat Mobility (Iowa)
- Colorado Valley Communications (Texas)
- Enhanced Telecommunications Corp. (Indiana)
- Globecomm (New York)
- IT&E (Guam)
- MidRivers Communications (Montana)
- NetAmerica (Texas)
- NewCore Wireless (Minnesota)
- NexTech Wireless (Kansas)
- Northwest Missouri Cellular (Missouri)
- Rural Independent Network Alliance (Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming)
- S and R Communications (Indiana)
- SRT Communications (North Dakota)
- South Georgia Regional Information Technology Authority (Georgia)
- Syringa Networks (Idaho)
- VTel Wireless (Vermont)
TIM - Brazil
Tishknet - Iraq
Une - Colombia
Unitel - Angola
UPC - Netherlands
US Cellular - USA
Verizon Wireless - USA
Vipnet - Croatia
Vimpelcom – Russia
Vivo - Brazil
Vodafone - Germany
Wataniya - Kuwait
Yoigo – Spain
Zain – Bahrein
* List shows the largest operators that have selected LTE, some smaller ones are not shown here (November 2013).
List of operators that have selected Ericsson Managed Services for LTE:
TDC - Denmark (Worlds first)
NBN Co - Australia
What is LTE?
LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the global standard for the fourth generation of mobile networks (4G) supported by all major players in the industry. LTE offers the capacity and the speed to handle a rapid increase in data traffic with close to 9,3 billion mobile subscriptions in 2019.
What are the advantages of LTE for users?
LTE gives a superior user experience when it comes to stability, throughput, and latency. The increased capacity will bring new and better services to users.
What are the advantages with LTE for operators?
LTE offers existing and greenfield operators the advantage of a future proof network delivering capacity, throughput and user experience creating new business opportunities and revenues. LTE offers low long-term capital and operational costs. Networks deployed today can be used for all generations of communication; 2G, 3G and 4G.
How fast is LTE?
Today’s LTE networks are able to provide speeds up to 100Mbps. However user experience may vary depending on location and present network load. The technology allows for speeds more than 300Mbps and Ericsson has already demonstrated the next step of LTE at the MWC 2010 with speeds up to 1.2Gbps. Live measurements in north of Stockholm in June 2011 gave speeds above 1Gbps.
When will I be able to use LTE?
This depends on where you live. LTE is being deployed already today in large parts of the world, with North America, Korea and Japan currently having the highest LTE penetration. Today there are more than a 1240 LTE-ready devices (smartphones, tablets, modems) announced (GSA November 2013).
So far there have been 244 commercial LTE deployments. In total, 499 operators are investing in LTE in 143 different countries. (GSA December 2013)
Will LTE make previous standards like HSPA (3G) obsolete?
No, in many markets HSPA and EDGE will continue to do a perfectly good job in delivering broadband to billions of mobile users for many years to come.
The introduction of LTE is an evolutionary step, rather than revolutionary, as large parts of existing infrastructure is re-used providing a future-proof technology path for flexible migration of services between 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies. But in order to meet customer expectations and demands for capacity and speed tomorrow, all major players need to put an LTE strategy in place today.
What is Ericsson’s position in LTE?
Ericsson has supplied the large majority of the commercial LTE networks already deployed and has signed contracts with nine of the top ten operators, ranked by global revenue 2012.
Ericsson is the undisputed leader in development of LTE and offers networks with superior performance when it comes to stability, throughput, and latency – the most important key factors for end-users of LTE. Ericsson offers LTE in both technology tracks; LTE FDD and TD-LTE and collaborates with all leading players in the industry to secure the eco system.
Ericsson has had the highest impact on the released LTE specification and expects to hold 25 percent of all essential patents in LTE.
There are many claims about patents, what are the facts?
Ericsson has a tradition of making conservative predictions and has tried to keep a realistic approach in patent issues.
In the early stages of LTE rollout many exaggerated claims have been made about number of essential patent rights.
The main sources of error are:
Today Ericsson has a total of 33 000 granted patents, and is the number one holder of GSM/GPRS/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA, and LTE essential patents. We expect to hold 25% of the LTE patents.
Ericsson has over 100 patent license agreements generating significant revenue, which is re-invested in the eco system. New (and renewed) patent licensing agreements will also cover LTE.
What will happen with voice calls over LTE?
Unlike previous generations of mobile networks, LTE is completely IP-based and supports only data transfers in its basic form. However most operators are likely to offer their customers solutions for voice services. Already 3 VoLTE networks are live in Korea and US.
Operators will benefit from an early voice over LTE strategy supporting their existing and future services.
In our view GSMA VoLTE, a solution supported by the governing body of GSM telecommunications systems, offers the best opportunity for operators to evolve their services toward full multimedia while protecting and expanding their business.
For LTE to support voice and messaging, an IP-based solution is required that will offer the same interoperable and seamless experience that 2G and 3G wireless technologies offer today. IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) can achieve this, and supports all voice call service features such as call waiting, call hold and call barring, and is highly scalable to serve very large subscriber bases. IMS also provides mobile operators with the ability to offer services that can integrate voice calls with enhanced, rich features such as presence, instant messaging and video content, delivered in an interoperable and multi-operator environment.