Stop us if you've heard this before, but in the world of Long Term Evolution (LTE), size matters -- even if an operator can work to make the most of the channel size that they've been blessed with:
That's the simple reason why Telia Company 's initial LTE network offers faster download speeds than Verizon Wireless is promising for its proto-4G network. The Swedish operator networks have tested at around 25Mbit/s on the downlink; Verizon is so far promising 5Mbit/s to 12Mbit/s. (See The Confusing World of LTE Speeds.)
Brits, however, are unlikely to get a taste of LTE's fat pipes until 2011, even as other European operators move ahead with the new technology. The UK government has pushed back the auction of the 2.6GHz spectrum that LTE will use until 2011. The auctions were originally planned for 2008.
U.S. regional operator Commnet Wireless, meanwhile, is working withZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) to deploy a trial network that supports both LTE and CDMA in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. This is ZTE's first LTE network contract in the US, although it plans to supply LTE devices to MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) for its planned deployment in late 2010. (See Ericsson Lands LTE Gig at MetroPCS .)
Nokia Networks has this week stepped up to claim the trophy for the fastest LTE download that can be wrung out of a USB modem. The vendor says that it clocked a data connection of 100Mbit/s on its trial network in Espoo, Finland, using a device from LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) . This is the maximum speed achievable by what is classified as a "Class 3 LTE terminal."
These kinds of devices could be just what the doctor ordered for Verizon when it gets LTE networks up and running. DSL Reports claims that part of the real strength of LTE for Verizon is getting customers weaned off the copper nipple and switched on to a cheaper wireless substitute.
Oh yeah, did anyone see the LTE iPhone at the launch of the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad this week? Thought not.