Light Reading

Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)

Dan Jones
3/19/2013
50%
50%

It's Sunday night, Feb. 1, 2015; you're in the Ding Dong Lounge in New York City.

All around you people are hunched over their smartphones and tablets sending out videos, tweets and texts about that Superbowl-winning touchdown. The same scene is playing out in bars and restaurants down the street and across the city.

The 4G network you are connected to, however, doesn't slow down much or fall over with all the additional data being sent over the air.

That is the real promise of LTE-Advanced for carriers and -- eventually -- users too: the ability to offer a more reliable and consistent experience over 4G. It won't come quickly, easily or cheaply though.

The LTE-Advanced specification was fully defined by the 3GPP in April 2011 as part of Release 10 of the 4G spec. Along with WiMAX 2, LTE-Advanced was originally considered the first true fourth generation (4G) by the ITU because, in theory anyway, it met the conditions of maximum downlink speeds of 100Mbit/s when a user is on the move and up to 1Gbit/s for stationary downloads.

Carriers around the world are unlikely to achieve those kinds of speeds even when all the hardware and software pieces are actually in place. This is because achieving these speeds could require up to 100MHz in linked channels, which is just not feasible for many operators round the world.

LTE-Advanced will offer a data speed increase over current LTE networks by deploying upgrades at the radio access network (RAN) and handset. These include:

  • Carrier aggregation techniques that bond together two or more separate radio channels for more speed and capacity
  • Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antenna arrays of 2x2 or more on the devices and infrastructure for faster uplink and downlinks
  • Relay nodes, low power radios that will provide improved coverage and capacity at the cell edge of the network

As the 3GPP says LTE-Advanced is about supporting an "increased number of simultaneously active subscribers" on the network as well.

This is important -- consider that IDC predicts that LTE traffic will grow 207 percent in 2013. Factor in all the new smartphones, tablets and machine-to-machine devices coming and you can see that planning ahead for capacity and coverage density is just as important as speed, if not more so.

Hence, carriers like T-Mobile USA are getting in on the ground floor with networks that might be considered LTE-Advanced ready rather than full-blown LTE-Advanced right now.

Vendors like Broadcom Corp. have started to unveil LTE-Advanced modems for phones that support features like carrier aggregation in the last month or so that will go into commercial production in 2014. Though 2x2 MIMO antenna arrays are not uncommon on devices, larger arrays and bigger modems all start to become device size and battery concerns. So like LTE, laptops and data dongles are likely to be the first to get LTE-Advanced capabilities.

As you see, it will likely be sometime next year -- at the earliest -- before we get many affordable devices that can support LTE-Advanced and operators will need to build out network density as part of the march toward Advanced.

This should clue you in to something else as well. LTE-Advanced makes sense in a city where operators are supporting large and sometimes unpredictable flows of users and traffic. It may not make much financial sense to add more density to rural parts of the network.

So, LTE-Advanced probably won't be trickling down to Monowi, Neb. any time soon.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
7/25/2014 | 4:52:15 PM
re: Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)
Sad news for NYC dive bar fan, Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre, he will never get to see the original Ding Dong longue referenced in this piece:

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2014/07/upper_west_side_1.html
talking_heads
50%
50%
talking_heads,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/11/2013 | 1:47:10 PM
re: Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)
What about new security features in LTE-A?
Renukab
50%
50%
Renukab,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/25/2013 | 3:56:39 PM
re: Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)
Commercial
deployments of LTE-A are going to be seen in the market much more quickly than
people think. The big difference with LTE-A, over its predecessor GÇô LTE, is the
way in which it will be rolled out by international operators. As
opposed to a complete network upgrade, operators will deploy LTE-A
incrementally on a feature-by-feature basis. Operators will initially roll
LTE-A features that give them the greatest tactical advantages in the market.
For example, LTE-A features such as carrier aggregation, for contiguous and
non-contiguous spectrum allocations, and radio interference management and
suppression will be the first that operators consider. Operators will also be
very keen to leverage support in LTE-A for increased MIMO GÇô which helps to dramatically
improve spectral efficiency. We at Radisys are very well versed in in all
aspects of LTE-A and see it gaining market traction extremely rapidly. Radisys
recently announced that we are already developing the worldGÇÖs first commercial
LTE-A small cell with our partner Mindspeed.
Renukab
50%
50%
Renukab,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/25/2013 | 3:51:15 PM
re: Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)
Commercial deployments of LTE-A are going to be seen in the market much more quickly than people think. The big difference with LTE-A, over its predecessor GÇô LTE, is the way in which it will be rolled out by international operators. As opposed to a complete network upgrade, operators will deploy LTE-A incrementally on a feature-by-feature basis. Operators will initially roll LTE-A features that give them the greatest tactical advantages in the market. For example, LTE-A features such as carrier aggregation, for contiguous and non-contiguous spectrum allocations, and radio interference management and suppression will be the first that operators consider. Operators will also be very keen to leverage support in LTE-A for increased MIMO GÇô which helps to dramatically improve spectral efficiency. We at Radisys are very well versed in in all aspects of LTE-A and see it gaining market traction extremely rapidly. Radisys recently announced that we are already developing the worldGÇÖs first commercial LTE-A small cell with our partner Mindspeed.
chuckj
50%
50%
chuckj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/21/2013 | 12:27:42 AM
re: Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)
The only way LTE Advanced can happen is, they pass a law that if the Ding Dong Lounge (or any customer) buys a small cell on his own and pays for its-áback-haul,-áthen none of the users that hook up to it have to pay for minutes or data to the carrier, but if the carrier puts it in and pays for the-áback-haul-áthen the carrier can charge all of the users for data and minutes. -á This way the establishment (or the customer) can do something about customer service because we know Telco's absolutely don't care about customer service, as apparent from ATT's plan to install 40,000 small cells in the next two years for a nation of 300+million, thousands of big and small cities and tens of thousands of small towns and townships and hundreds of thousands of small farms. -áThe Telco suppliers need to lobby for this with all their might or else they will all be driven to bankruptcy by-átheir-ácustomers one by one.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2013 | 9:18:48 PM
re: Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually)
Remember that schedules can really slip on these chip development programs too. We'll se a lot of noise about LTE-Advanced devices this year but I suspect much of it will be hype.
More Blogs from Jonestown
One from our WTF department! Marshall -- the amp maker -- intros an Android smartphone.
Consumers have no way of knowing if the aftermarket Sprint phone they're buying will work on the operator's network -- and that's burning Sprint's MVNOs.
Verizon's AOL buy is its latest push in an ongoing strategy to deliver more mobile video to its customers.
Cisco CEO predicts the digitization of everything will change, like, everything!
The connected car is driving the IoT market now, but that's just the start of it.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (2) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cambodia's TRC Discusses Its Plans for National Broadband

7|17|15   |   10:33   |   (0) comments


In this video, Chakyra Moa, Chairman of Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), talks in in-depth with Heavy Reading about the Cambodia's current telecom market and TRC's goals and expectations for the future.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Phone

7|16|15   |   2:09   |   (4) comments


A man has an opportunity to purchase the world's first working 5G phone. Imagine the possibilities...
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
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile Launches RCS Messaging
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/22/2015
Huawei Working Hard for Rural Success
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/22/2015
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent, Vodafone Test TWDM-PON
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 7/22/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Cat Sense Click Here
Can you hear me now?