& cplSiteName &

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; Telia Company 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        ADD A COMMENT
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.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.