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Nokia Likes LTE

The world's largest cell phone manufacturer affirmed its commitment to Long Term Evolution and said it expects to have devices available next year.

Speaking at the Portable Computer and Communications Association meeting, James Harper, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s senior manager of technology marketing, said LTE is the preferred technology for the next generation of mobile broadband devices because of its clear road map and backward compatibility with current 3G networks.

The majority of cellular operators have chosen LTE for their 4G networks partly because of its theoretical 100-Mbps download speed. This can offer mobile carriers the ability to offer services like streaming high-definition video that aren't possible on modern 3G networks. Even though it probably won't reach the theoretical limit, LTE will blow away current mobile data offerings.

Nokia did not elaborate on what type of LTE devices it would be producing, as there are only a handful of carriers expected to begin rolling out LTE networks in 2010. Nokia is also "actively looking" to enter the laptop market, and there's a chance it could include LTE to provide nearly ubiquitous Internet connectivity.

Companies like Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) have backed rival WiMax as the technology of choice for 4G networks. While it has a lower theoretical download limit, Clearwire already has live networks up and running in Baltimore and Portland, Ore.

Having the world's largest cell phone manufacturer firmly back LTE could potentially marginalize WiMax, as Nokia has already discontinued its WiMax Internet tablet. But WiMax backers said the technology will thrive because it won't be as costly to deploy since most of the heavy investments have already been made.

"WiMax has some place in the market, but we do believe it's a niche play," Harper said.

— Marin Perez, InformationWeek

mobileinsider 12/5/2012 | 4:10:05 PM
re: Nokia Likes LTE Mobile WiMAX, as a nationwide network technology option, is paddling behind the big smoky steamship and coughing from lack of Oxygen behind the "MS HSPA-LTE." Nokia is the world's most dominant mobile vendor. Their support for WiMAX was over last October. Their strong support of HSPA and soon, LTE devices, means that Samsung will be next to debark the sinking (mobile) WiMAX ship (aka canoe). Please do not misunderstand the pragmatic criticism. I do not dislike Mobile WiMAX. The technology had its chance in 2004 and 2005 but failed to deliver.

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