Light Reading

LTE: Don’t Expect to Roam Soon

Michelle Donegan
News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
2/4/2010
50%
50%

Global support among operators for Long Term Evolution (LTE) is unprecedented, but it will be years before devices are capable of roaming internationally on LTE networks, because of the overwhelming number of frequency bands that they will have to support.

An LTE device that's capable of roaming anywhere in the world will have to support between 13 and 15 frequency bands, according to Nigel Wright, wireless VP at mobile test specialist Spirent Communications plc (NYSE: SPM; London: SPT).

And that's a tall order for a new technology.

The LTE frequency band complexity could force device makers to compromise on the number of bands that are supported in early devices, which would lead to coverage and performance issues in some regions.

They could "perhaps optimize a device to work in North America and accept that it won't work as well in Europe," says Wright. "Those kinds of tradeoffs happen today and will increase by an order of magnitude when we get to LTE."

To roam internationally, LTE devices will have to support not only all the different frequency bands for LTE, but also the bands for legacy technologies CDMA, GSM, and UMTS, which creates an even bigger challenge. "A device has to wake up in any country and decide which is the best band to operate in," Wright says. (See AlcaLu, LG Boast LTE/CDMA Handoff.)

Just to give some idea of the complexity, the three earliest LTE deployments will use three different frequency bands: NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) will deploy in the 2.1GHz band; TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) uses 2.6GHz; and Verizon Wireless will use the 700MHz band.

For Verizon, an LTE device at a minimum is likely to support LTE at 700MHz and CDMA technologies at 850MHz and 1900MHz, for example.

But more important than getting an LTE device that can be used in multiple countries (and on what networks, by the way?) is perhaps getting any LTE device on the market. TeliaSonera uses an LTE modem from Samsung Corp. for its networks in Stockholm and Oslo. But the latest timeline on LTE device availability from Information Gatekeepers Inc. (IGI) is that modems and USB cards will be available this year; LTE-embedded notebooks, mobile Internet devices, and possibly data-only handsets will follow in 2011; and voice-centric LTE handsets are expected in 2012. (See 'Millions' of LTE Handsets by 2012?, An LTE iPhone? Think 2012 (or Later), and LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks .)

"At the moment, everyone is just trying to get LTE to work," says Spirent's Wright.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, LTE device sightings will be a priority for many show goers. NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) will show off a mock-up of an LTE device for NTT DoCoMo. (See LTE Device Mock-Up at MWC.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Bigrich
50%
50%
Bigrich,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:43:26 PM
re: LTE: Don’t Expect to Roam Soon


"For Verizon, an LTE device at a minimum is likely to support LTE at 700MHz and CDMA technologies at 900MHz and 1800MHz, for example."


 


CDMA @ 850MHz and 1900MHz would be correct for North America, 900 and 1800 are Euro bands.

Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:43:25 PM
re: LTE: Don’t Expect to Roam Soon


Thanks! That's corrected in the article now.


Michelle

Arno_K
50%
50%
Arno_K,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:43:18 PM
re: LTE: Don’t Expect to Roam Soon
DoCoMo recently announced development of a 8-band PA covering 700 MHz - 2600 MHz for LTE, WCDMA/HSPA and GSM:
http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/20...

Obviously 8-band devices won't be USB-sticks retailing for less than 100USD, but rather high-end data cards and later smartphones.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (1) comment


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
60% of World Lacks Internet: Facebook Report
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.