& 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 .

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.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
The Big Cable DAA Update
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/11/2017
Telecom Italia Covers 73% of Italy With NB-IoT
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/13/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed