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        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
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
Wi-Fi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Cats with Phones
Tastes Like Fish Click Here
Please hold while I lick the phone.