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4G/3G/WiFi

LTE R&D Ramps Up

The global importance of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) development was underlined once again as the European Union and Nokia Networks separately unveiled plans to work up R&D for the proto-4G mobile specification.

NSN says that it is establishing a center of competence in Dallas dedicated to developing LTE. The center will employ approximately 500 people, consisting of both existing employees and new hires. Dallas was chosen, NSN says in a statement, thanks to the company’s strong presence there and its proximity to major customers.

Moreover, NSN could have a ready-made talent pool to draw from for new hires.

Nortel Networks Ltd. is one of the other networking vendors that maintains a presence in Dallas. The firm said recently that it is retaining a "small R&D staff" there to work on LTE, staff not included in the selloff of its wireless unit to Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). (See Nortel Could Sell LTE Patents Separately.)

The European Union (EU), meanwhile, says it will invest 18 million Euros ($25M) in developing the next generation of LTE, beginning on Jan. 1, 2010. Between 2004 and 2007, the EU supported research on optimization and standardization of LTE -- the WINNER I and II projects, run by a consortium of 41 leading European companies and universities -- with 25 million Euros.

LTE Advanced is the first version of the mobile standard that might actually match the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 's requirements for wireless 4G networks. It promises performance in the region of 1-Gbit/s downlink when the user is stationary and 100 Mbit/s on the move. (See Huawei: 4G or Not 4G?)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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