LTE (telecommunication)

In telecommunication, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile devices and data terminals, based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies. It increases the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements.[1][2] The standard is developed by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and is specified in its Release 8 document series, with minor enhancements described in Release 9. LTE is the upgrade path for carriers with both GSM/UMTS networks and CDMA2000 networks. The different LTE frequencies and bands used in different countries mean that only multi-band phones are able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported.

LTE is commonly marketed as "4G LTE and Advance 4G", but it does not meet the technical criteria of a 4G wireless service, as specified in the 3GPP Release 8 and 9 document series for LTE Advanced. LTE is also commonly known as 3.95G. The requirements were originally set forth by the ITU-R organization in the IMT Advanced specification. However, due to marketing pressures and the significant advancements that WiMAX, Evolved High Speed Packet Access and LTE bring to the original 3G technologies, ITU later decided that LTE together with the aforementioned technologies can be called 4G technologies.[3] The LTE Advanced standard formally satisfies the ITU-R requirements to be considered IMT-Advanced.[4] To differentiate LTE Advanced and WiMAX-Advanced from current 4G technologies, ITU has defined them as "True 4G".[5][6]

Overview

Samsung 4G LTE modem-4
Telia-branded Samsung LTE modem
HTC Thunderbolt
HTC ThunderBolt, the second commercially available LTE smartphone

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution[7] and is a registered trademark owned by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) for the wireless data communications technology and a development of the GSM/UMTS standards. However, other nations and companies do play an active role in the LTE project. The goal of LTE was to increase the capacity and speed of wireless data networks using new DSP (digital signal processing) techniques and modulations that were developed around the turn of the millennium. A further goal was the redesign and simplification of the network architecture to an IP-based system with significantly reduced transfer latency compared to the 3G architecture. The LTE wireless interface is incompatible with 2G and 3G networks, so that it must be operated on a separate radio spectrum.

LTE was first proposed in 2004 by Japan's NTT Docomo, with studies on the standard officially commenced in 2005.[8] In May 2007, the LTE/SAE Trial Initiative (LSTI) alliance was founded as a global collaboration between vendors and operators with the goal of verifying and promoting the new standard in order to ensure the global introduction of the technology as quickly as possible.[9][10] The LTE standard was finalized in December 2008, and the first publicly available LTE service was launched by TeliaSonera in Oslo and Stockholm on December 14, 2009, as a data connection with a USB modem. The LTE services were launched by major North American carriers as well, with the Samsung SCH-r900 being the world's first LTE Mobile phone starting on September 21, 2010,[11][12] and Samsung Galaxy Indulge being the world's first LTE smartphone starting on February 10, 2011,[13][14] both offered by MetroPCS, and the HTC ThunderBolt offered by Verizon starting on March 17 being the second LTE smartphone to be sold commercially.[15][16] In Canada, Rogers Wireless was the first to launch LTE network on July 7, 2011, offering the Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U USB mobile broadband modem, known as the "LTE Rocket stick" then followed closely by mobile devices from both HTC and Samsung.[17] Initially, CDMA operators planned to upgrade to rival standards called UMB and WiMAX, but major CDMA operators (such as Verizon, Sprint and MetroPCS in the United States, Bell and Telus in Canada, au by KDDI in Japan, SK Telecom in South Korea and China Telecom/China Unicom in China) have announced instead they intend to migrate to LTE. The next version of LTE is LTE Advanced, which was standardized in March 2011.[18] Services are expected to commence in 2013.[19] Additional evolution known as LTE Advanced Pro have been approved in year 2015.[20]

The LTE specification provides downlink peak rates of 300 Mbit/s, uplink peak rates of 75 Mbit/s and QoS provisions permitting a transfer latency of less than 5 ms in the radio access network. LTE has the ability to manage fast-moving mobiles and supports multi-cast and broadcast streams. LTE supports scalable carrier bandwidths, from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz and supports both frequency division duplexing (FDD) and time-division duplexing (TDD). The IP-based network architecture, called the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) designed to replace the GPRS Core Network, supports seamless handovers for both voice and data to cell towers with older network technology such as GSM, UMTS and CDMA2000.[21] The simpler architecture results in lower operating costs (for example, each E-UTRA cell will support up to four times the data and voice capacity supported by HSPA[22]).

History

3GPP standard development timeline

  • In 2004, NTT Docomo of Japan proposes LTE as the international standard.[23]
  • In September 2006, Siemens Networks (today Nokia Networks) showed in collaboration with Nomor Research the first live emulation of an LTE network to the media and investors. As live applications two users streaming an HDTV video in the downlink and playing an interactive game in the uplink have been demonstrated.[24]
  • In February 2007, Ericsson demonstrated for the first time in the world LTE with bit rates up to 144 Mbit/s[25]
  • In September 2007, NTT Docomo demonstrated LTE data rates of 200 Mbit/s with power level below 100 mW during the test.[26]
  • In November 2007, Infineon presented the world’s first RF transceiver named SMARTi LTE supporting LTE functionality in a single-chip RF silicon processed in CMOS[27][28]
  • In early 2008, LTE test equipment began shipping from several vendors and, at the Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona, Ericsson demonstrated the world’s first end-to-end mobile call enabled by LTE on a small handheld device.[29] Motorola demonstrated an LTE RAN standard compliant eNodeB and LTE chipset at the same event.
  • At the February 2008 Mobile World Congress:
    • Motorola demonstrated how LTE can accelerate the delivery of personal media experience with HD video demo streaming, HD video blogging, Online gaming and VoIP over LTE running a RAN standard compliant LTE network & LTE chipset.[30]
    • Ericsson EMP (now ST-Ericsson) demonstrated the world’s first end-to-end LTE call on handheld[29] Ericsson demonstrated LTE FDD and TDD mode on the same base station platform.
    • Freescale Semiconductor demonstrated streaming HD video with peak data rates of 96 Mbit/s downlink and 86 Mbit/s uplink.[31]
    • NXP Semiconductors (now a part of ST-Ericsson) demonstrated a multi-mode LTE modem as the basis for a software-defined radio system for use in cellphones.[32]
    • picoChip and Mimoon demonstrated a base station reference design. This runs on a common hardware platform (multi-mode / software defined radio) with their WiMAX architecture.[33]
  • In April 2008, Motorola demonstrated the first EV-DO to LTE hand-off – handing over a streaming video from LTE to a commercial EV-DO network and back to LTE.[34]
  • In April 2008, LG Electronics and Nortel demonstrated LTE data rates of 50 Mbit/s while travelling at 110 km/h (68 MPH).[35]
  • In November 2008, Motorola demonstrated industry first over-the-air LTE session in 700 MHz spectrum.[36]
  • Researchers at Nokia Siemens Networks and Heinrich Hertz Institut have demonstrated LTE with 100 Mbit/s Uplink transfer speeds.[37]
  • At the February 2009 Mobile World Congress:
    • Infineon demonstrated a single-chip 65 nm CMOS RF transceiver providing 2G/3G/LTE functionality[38]
    • Launch of ng Connect program, a multi-industry consortium founded by Alcatel-Lucent to identify and develop wireless broadband applications.[39]
    • Motorola provided LTE drive tour on the streets of Barcelona to demonstrate LTE system performance in a real-life metropolitan RF environment[40]
  • In July 2009, Nujira demonstrated efficiencies of more than 60% for an 880 MHz LTE Power Amplifier[41]
  • In August 2009, Nortel and LG Electronics demonstrated the first successful handoff between CDMA and LTE networks in a standards-compliant manner[42]
  • In August 2009, Alcatel-Lucent receives FCC certification for LTE base stations for the 700 MHz spectrum band.[43]
  • In September 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks demonstrated world's first LTE call on standards-compliant commercial software.[44]
  • In October 2009, Ericsson and Samsung demonstrated interoperability between the first ever commercial LTE device and the live network in Stockholm, Sweden.[45]
  • In October 2009, Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institut and antenna supplier Kathrein conducted live field tests of a technology called Coordinated Multipoint Transmission (CoMP) aimed at increasing the data transmission speeds of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 3G networks.[46]
  • In November 2009, Alcatel-Lucent completed first live LTE call using 800 MHz spectrum band set aside as part of the European Digital Dividend (EDD).[47]
  • In November 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks and LG completed first end-to-end interoperability testing of LTE.[48]
  • On December 14, 2009, the first commercial LTE deployment was in the Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo by the Swedish-Finnish network operator TeliaSonera and its Norwegian brandname NetCom (Norway). TeliaSonera incorrectly branded the network "4G". The modem devices on offer were manufactured by Samsung (dongle GT-B3710), and the network infrastructure with SingleRAN technology created by Huawei (in Oslo)[49] and Ericsson (in Stockholm). TeliaSonera plans to roll out nationwide LTE across Sweden, Norway and Finland.[50] TeliaSonera used spectral bandwidth of 10 MHz (out of the maximum 20 MHz), and Single-Input and Single-Output transmission. The deployment should have provided a physical layer net bitrates of up to 50 Mbit/s downlink and 25 Mbit/s in the uplink. Introductory tests showed a TCP goodput of 42.8 Mbit/s downlink and 5.3 Mbit/s uplink in Stockholm.[51]
  • In December 2009, ST-Ericsson and Ericsson first to achieve LTE and HSPA mobility with a multimode device.[52]
  • In January 2010, Alcatel-Lucent and LG complete a live handoff of an end-to-end data call between Long Term Evolution (LTE) and CDMA networks.[53]
  • In February 2010, Nokia Siemens Networks and Movistar test the LTE in Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, with both indoor and outdoor demonstrations.[54]
  • In May 2010, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Huawei showed an indoor LTE network at "Sviaz-Expocomm 2010" in Moscow, Russia.[55] MTS expects to start a trial LTE service in Moscow by the beginning of 2011. Earlier, MTS has received a license to build an LTE network in Uzbekistan, and intends to commence a test LTE network in Ukraine in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent.
  • At the Shanghai Expo 2010 in May 2010, Motorola demonstrated a live LTE in conjunction with China Mobile. This included video streams and a drive test system using TD-LTE.[56]
  • As of 12/10/2010, DirecTV has teamed up with Verizon Wireless for a test of high-speed Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology in a few homes in Pennsylvania, designed to deliver an integrated Internet and TV bundle. Verizon Wireless said it launched LTE wireless services (for data, no voice) in 38 markets where more than 110 million Americans live on Sunday, Dec. 5.[57]
  • On May 6, 2011, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel demonstrated 4G LTE for the first time in South Asia, achieving a data rate of 96 Mbit/s in Sri Lanka.[58]

Carrier adoption timeline

Most carriers supporting GSM or HSUPA networks can be expected to upgrade their networks to LTE at some stage. A complete list of commercial contracts can be found at:[59]

  • August 2009: Telefónica selected six countries to field-test LTE in the succeeding months: Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic in Europe, and Brazil and Argentina in Latin America.[60]
  • On November 24, 2009: Telecom Italia announced the first outdoor pre-commercial experimentation in the world, deployed in Torino and totally integrated into the 2G/3G network currently in service.[61]
  • On December 14, 2009, the world's first publicly available LTE service was opened by TeliaSonera in the two Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo.
  • On May 28, 2010, Russian operator Scartel announced the launch of an LTE network in Kazan by the end of 2010.[62]
  • On October 6, 2010, Canadian provider Rogers Communications Inc announced that Ottawa, Canada's national capital, will be the site of LTE trials. Rogers said it will expand on this testing and move to a comprehensive technical trial of LTE on both low- and high-band frequencies across the Ottawa area.[63]
  • On May 6, 2011, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel successfully demonstrated 4G LTE for the first time in South Asia, achieving a data rate of 96 Mbit/s in Sri Lanka.[64]
  • On May 7, 2011, Sri Lankan Mobile Operator Dialog Axiata PLC switched on the first pilot 4G LTE Network in South Asia with vendor partner Huawei and demonstrated a download data speed up to 127 Mbit/s.[65]
  • On February 9, 2012, Telus Mobility launched their LTE service initial in metropolitan areas include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener, Waterloo, Hamilton, Guelph, Belleville, Ottawa, Montreal, Québec City, Halifax and Yellowknife.[66]
  • Telus Mobility has announced that it will adopt LTE as its 4G wireless standard.[67]
  • Cox Communications has its first tower for wireless LTE network build-out.[68] Wireless services launched in late 2009.
  • In March 2019, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association reported that there were now 717 operators with commercially launched LTE networks (broadband fixed wireless access and or mobile).[69]

The following is a list of top 10 countries/territories by 4G LTE coverage as measured by OpenSignal.com in October-December 2017.[70]

Country/Territory Penetration
 South Korea 97.49%
 Japan 94.70%
 Norway 92.16%
 Hong Kong 90.34%
 United States 90.32%
 Netherlands 89.64%
 Hungary 89.26%
 Kuwait 88.40%
 Lithuania 88.40%
 Czech Republic 87.37%

For the complete list of all the countries/territories, see list of countries by 4G LTE penetration.

LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD

Long-Term Evolution Time-Division Duplex (LTE-TDD), also referred to as TDD LTE, is a 4G telecommunications technology and standard co-developed by an international coalition of companies, including China Mobile, Datang Telecom, Huawei, ZTE, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Qualcomm, Samsung, and ST-Ericsson. It is one of the two mobile data transmission technologies of the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology standard, the other being Long-Term Evolution Frequency-Division Duplex (LTE-FDD). While some companies refer to LTE-TDD as "TD-LTE", there is no reference to that acronym anywhere in the 3GPP specifications.[71][72][73]

There are two major differences between LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD: how data is uploaded and downloaded, and what frequency spectra the networks are deployed in. While LTE-FDD uses paired frequencies to upload and download data,[74] LTE-TDD uses a single frequency, alternating between uploading and downloading data through time.[75][76] The ratio between uploads and downloads on a LTE-TDD network can be changed dynamically, depending on whether more data needs to be sent or received.[77] LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD also operate on different frequency bands,[78] with LTE-TDD working better at higher frequencies, and LTE-FDD working better at lower frequencies.[79] Frequencies used for LTE-TDD range from 1850 MHz to 3800 MHz, with several different bands being used.[80] The LTE-TDD spectrum is generally cheaper to access, and has less traffic.[78] Further, the bands for LTE-TDD overlap with those used for WiMAX, which can easily be upgraded to support LTE-TDD.[78]

Despite the differences in how the two types of LTE handle data transmission, LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD share 90 percent of their core technology, making it possible for the same chipsets and networks to use both versions of LTE.[78][81] A number of companies produce dual-mode chips or mobile devices, including Samsung and Qualcomm,[82][83] while operators CMHK and Hi3G Access have developed dual-mode networks in Hong Kong and Sweden, respectively.[84]

History of LTE-TDD

The creation of LTE-TDD involved a coalition of international companies that worked to develop and test the technology.[85] China Mobile was an early proponent of LTE-TDD,[78][86] along with other companies like Datang Telecom[85] and Huawei, which worked to deploy LTE-TDD networks, and later developed technology allowing LTE-TDD equipment to operate in white spaces—frequency spectra between broadcast TV stations.[72][87] Intel also participated in the development, setting up a LTE-TDD interoperability lab with Huawei in China,[88] as well as ST-Ericsson,[78] Nokia,[78] and Nokia Siemens (now Nokia Solutions and Networks),[72] which developed LTE-TDD base stations that increased capacity by 80 percent and coverage by 40 percent.[89] Qualcomm also participated, developing the world's first multi-mode chip, combining both LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD, along with HSPA and EV-DO.[83] Accelleran, a Belgian company, has also worked to build small cells for LTE-TDD networks.[90]

Trials of LTE-TDD technology began as early as 2010, with Reliance Industries and Ericsson India conducting field tests of LTE-TDD in India, achieving 80 megabit-per second download speeds and 20 megabit-per-second upload speeds.[91] By 2011, China Mobile began trials of the technology in six cities.[72]

Although initially seen as a technology utilized by only a few countries, including China and India,[92] by 2011 international interest in LTE-TDD had expanded, especially in Asia, in part due to LTE-TDD 's lower cost of deployment compared to LTE-FDD.[72] By the middle of that year, 26 networks around the world were conducting trials of the technology.[73] The Global LTE-TDD Initiative (GTI) was also started in 2011, with founding partners China Mobile, Bharti Airtel, SoftBank Mobile, Vodafone, Clearwire, Aero2 and E-Plus.[93] In September 2011, Huawei announced it would partner with Polish mobile provider Aero2 to develop a combined LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD network in Poland,[94] and by April 2012, ZTE Corporation had worked to deploy trial or commercial LTE-TDD networks for 33 operators in 19 countries.[84] In late 2012, Qualcomm worked extensively to deploy a commercial LTE-TDD network in India, and partnered with Bharti Airtel and Huawei to develop the first multi-mode LTE-TDD smartphone for India.[83]

In Japan, SoftBank Mobile launched LTE-TDD services in February 2012 under the name Advanced eXtended Global Platform (AXGP), and marketed as SoftBank 4G (ja). The AXGP band was previously used for Willcom's PHS service, and after PHS was discontinued in 2010 the PHS band was re-purposed for AXGP service.[95][96]

In the U.S., Clearwire planned to implement LTE-TDD, with chip-maker Qualcomm agreeing to support Clearwire's frequencies on its multi-mode LTE chipsets.[97] With Sprint's acquisition of Clearwire in 2013,[74][98] the carrier began using these frequencies for LTE service on networks built by Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia.[99][100]

As of March 2013, 156 commercial 4G LTE networks existed, including 142 LTE-FDD networks and 14 LTE-TDD networks.[85] As of November 2013, the South Korean government planned to allow a fourth wireless carrier in 2014, which would provide LTE-TDD services,[76] and in December 2013, LTE-TDD licenses were granted to China's three mobile operators, allowing commercial deployment of 4G LTE services.[101]

In January 2014, Nokia Solutions and Networks indicated that it had completed a series of tests of voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls on China Mobile's TD-LTE network.[102] The next month, Nokia Solutions and Networks and Sprint announced that they had demonstrated throughput speeds of 2.6 gigabits per second using a LTE-TDD network, surpassing the previous record of 1.6 gigabits per second.[103]

Features

Much of the LTE standard addresses the upgrading of 3G UMTS to what will eventually be 4G mobile communications technology. A large amount of the work is aimed at simplifying the architecture of the system, as it transitions from the existing UMTS circuit + packet switching combined network, to an all-IP flat architecture system. E-UTRA is the air interface of LTE. Its main features are:

  • Peak download rates up to 299.6 Mbit/s and upload rates up to 75.4 Mbit/s depending on the user equipment category (with 4×4 antennas using 20 MHz of spectrum). Five different terminal classes have been defined from a voice-centric class up to a high-end terminal that supports the peak data rates. All terminals will be able to process 20 MHz bandwidth.
  • Low data transfer latencies (sub-5 ms latency for small IP packets in optimal conditions), lower latencies for handover and connection setup time than with previous radio access technologies.
  • Improved support for mobility, exemplified by support for terminals moving at up to 350 km/h (220 mph) or 500 km/h (310 mph) depending on the frequency band.[104]
  • Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access for the downlink, Single-carrier FDMA for the uplink to conserve power.
  • Support for both FDD and TDD communication systems as well as half-duplex FDD with the same radio access technology.
  • Support for all frequency bands currently used by IMT systems by ITU-R.
  • Increased spectrum flexibility: 1.4 MHz, 3 MHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz wide cells are standardized. (W-CDMA has no option for other than 5 MHz slices, leading to some problems rolling-out in countries where 5 MHz is a commonly allocated width of spectrum so would frequently already be in use with legacy standards such as 2G GSM and cdmaOne.)
  • Support for cell sizes from tens of metres radius (femto and picocells) up to 100 km (62 miles) radius macrocells. In the lower frequency bands to be used in rural areas, 5 km (3.1 miles) is the optimal cell size, 30 km (19 miles) having reasonable performance, and up to 100 km cell sizes supported with acceptable performance. In the city and urban areas, higher frequency bands (such as 2.6  GHz in EU) are used to support high-speed mobile broadband. In this case, cell sizes may be 1 km (0.62 miles) or even less.
  • Support of at least 200 active data clients in every 5  MHz cell.[105]
  • Simplified architecture: The network side of E-UTRAN is composed only of eNode Bs.
  • Support for inter-operation and co-existence with legacy standards (e.g., GSM/EDGE, UMTS and CDMA2000). Users can start a call or transfer of data in an area using an LTE standard, and, should coverage be unavailable, continue the operation without any action on their part using GSM/GPRS or W-CDMA-based UMTS or even 3GPP2 networks such as cdmaOne or CDMA2000.
  • Uplink and downlink Carrier aggregation.
  • Packet-switched radio interface.
  • Support for MBSFN (multicast-broadcast single-frequency network). This feature can deliver services such as Mobile TV using the LTE infrastructure, and is a competitor for DVB-H-based TV broadcast only LTE compatible devices receives LTE signal.

Voice calls

LTE-CSFB-E-UTRAN-UTRAN-GERAN-Interfaces
cs domLTE CSFB to GSM/UMTS network interconnects

The LTE standard supports only packet switching with its all-IP network. Voice calls in GSM, UMTS and CDMA2000 are circuit switched, so with the adoption of LTE, carriers will have to re-engineer their voice call network.[106] Three different approaches sprang up:

Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
Circuit-switched fallback (CSFB)
In this approach, LTE just provides data services, and when a voice call is to be initiated or received, it will fall back to the circuit-switched domain. When using this solution, operators just need to upgrade the MSC instead of deploying the IMS, and therefore, can provide services quickly. However, the disadvantage is longer call setup delay.
Simultaneous voice and LTE (SVLTE)
In this approach, the handset works simultaneously in the LTE and circuit switched modes, with the LTE mode providing data services and the circuit switched mode providing the voice service. This is a solution solely based on the handset, which does not have special requirements on the network and does not require the deployment of IMS either. The disadvantage of this solution is that the phone can become expensive with high power consumption.
Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC)

One additional approach which is not initiated by operators is the usage of over-the-top content (OTT) services, using applications like Skype and Google Talk to provide LTE voice service.[107]

Most major backers of LTE preferred and promoted VoLTE from the beginning. The lack of software support in initial LTE devices, as well as core network devices, however led to a number of carriers promoting VoLGA (Voice over LTE Generic Access) as an interim solution.[108] The idea was to use the same principles as GAN (Generic Access Network, also known as UMA or Unlicensed Mobile Access), which defines the protocols through which a mobile handset can perform voice calls over a customer's private Internet connection, usually over wireless LAN. VoLGA however never gained much support, because VoLTE (IMS) promises much more flexible services, albeit at the cost of having to upgrade the entire voice call infrastructure. VoLTE will also require Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) in order to be able to smoothly perform a handover to a 3G network in case of poor LTE signal quality.[109]

While the industry has seemingly standardized on VoLTE for the future, the demand for voice calls today has led LTE carriers to introduce circuit-switched fallback as a stopgap measure. When placing or receiving a voice call, LTE handsets will fall back to old 2G or 3G networks for the duration of the call.

Enhanced voice quality

To ensure compatibility, 3GPP demands at least AMR-NB codec (narrow band), but the recommended speech codec for VoLTE is Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband, also known as HD Voice. This codec is mandated in 3GPP networks that support 16 kHz sampling.[110]

Fraunhofer IIS has proposed and demonstrated "Full-HD Voice", an implementation of the AAC-ELD (Advanced Audio Coding – Enhanced Low Delay) codec for LTE handsets.[111] Where previous cell phone voice codecs only supported frequencies up to 3.5 kHz and upcoming wideband audio services branded as HD Voice up to 7 kHz, Full-HD Voice supports the entire bandwidth range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. For end-to-end Full-HD Voice calls to succeed, however, both the caller and recipient's handsets, as well as networks, have to support the feature.[112]

Frequency bands

The LTE standard covers a range of many different bands, each of which is designated by both a frequency and a band number:

  • North America – 600, 700, 750, 800 850, 1900, 2100(AWS), 2300 (WCS), 2500, 2600 MHz (bands 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41, 66, 71)
  • Latin America and Caribbean – 750, 850, 900, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2600 MHz (bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 28)
  • Europe – 450, 700, 800, 900, 1500, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2600, 3500, 3700 MHz (bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 22, 28, 31, 32, 38, 40, 42, 43)[113][114]
  • Asia – 450, 700, 800, 850, 900, 1500, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2300, 2500, 2600, 3500 MHz (bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 18, 19, 21, 26, 21, 31, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42)[115][116]
  • Africa – 700, 800, 850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2500, 2600 MHz (bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 41)
  • Oceania (incl. Australia[117][118] and New Zealand[119]) – 700, 800, 850, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2600 MHz (bands 1, 3, 7, 12, 20, 28, 40)

As a result, phones from one country may not work in other countries. Users will need a multi-band capable phone for roaming internationally.

Patents

According to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's (ETSI) intellectual property rights (IPR) database, about 50 companies have declared, as of March 2012, holding essential patents covering the LTE standard.[120] The ETSI has made no investigation on the correctness of the declarations however,[120] so that "any analysis of essential LTE patents should take into account more than ETSI declarations."[121] Independent studies have found that about 3.3 to 5 percent of all revenues from handset manufacturers are spent on standard-essential patents. This is less than the combined published rates, due to reduced-rate licensing agreements, such as cross-licensing.[122][123][124]

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Agilent Technologies, LTE and the Evolution to 4G Wireless: Design and Measurement Challenges, John Wiley & Sons, 2009 ISBN 978-0-470-68261-6
  • Beaver, Paul, "What is TD-LTE?", RF&Microwave Designline, September 2011.
  • E. Dahlman, H. Ekström, A. Furuskär, Y. Jading, J. Karlsson, M. Lundevall, and S. Parkvall, "The 3G Long-Term Evolution – Radio Interface Concepts and Performance Evaluation", IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC) 2006 Spring, Melbourne, Australia, May 2006
  • Erik Dahlman, Stefan Parkvall, Johan Sköld, Per Beming, 3G Evolution – HSPA and LTE for Mobile Broadband, 2nd edition, Academic Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-12-374538-5
  • Erik Dahlman, Stefan Parkvall, Johan Sköld, 4G – LTE/LTE-Advanced for Mobile Broadban, Academic Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-12-385489-6
  • Sajal K. Das, John Wiley & Sons (April 2010): Mobile Handset Design, ISBN 978-0-470-82467-2.
  • Sajal K. Das, John Wiley & Sons (April 2016): Mobile Terminal Receiver Design: LTE and LTE-Advanced, ISBN 978-1-1191-0730-9 .
  • H. Ekström, A. Furuskär, J. Karlsson, M. Meyer, S. Parkvall, J. Torsner, and M. Wahlqvist, "Technical Solutions for the 3G Long-Term Evolution," IEEE Commun. Mag., vol. 44, no. 3, March 2006, pp. 38–45
  • Mustafa Ergen, Mobile Broadband: Including WiMAX and LTE, Springer, NY, 2009
  • K. Fazel and S. Kaiser, Multi-Carrier and Spread Spectrum Systems: From OFDM and MC-CDMA to LTE and WiMAX, 2nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2008, ISBN 978-0-470-99821-2
  • Dan Forsberg, Günther Horn, Wolf-Dietrich Moeller, Valtteri Niemi, LTE Security, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester 2013, ISBN 978-1-118-35558-9
  • Borko Furht, Syed A. Ahson, Long Term Evolution: 3GPP LTE Radio and Cellular Technology, CRC Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4200-7210-5
  • Chris Johnson, LTE in BULLETS, CreateSpace, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4528-3464-1
  • F. Khan, LTE for 4G Mobile Broadband – Air Interface Technologies and Performance, Cambridge University Press, 2009
  • Guowang Miao, Jens Zander, Ki Won Sung, and Ben Slimane, Fundamentals of Mobile Data Networks, Cambridge University Press, 2016, ISBN 1107143217
  • Stefania Sesia, Issam Toufik, and Matthew Baker, LTE – The UMTS Long Term Evolution: From Theory to Practice, Second Edition including Release 10 for LTE-Advanced, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, ISBN 978-0-470-66025-6
  • Gautam Siwach, Dr Amir Esmailpour, "LTE Security Potential Vulnerability and Algorithm Enhancements", IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (IEEE CCECE), Toronto, Canada, May 2014
  • SeungJune Yi, SungDuck Chun, YoungDae lee, SungJun Park, SungHoon Jung, Radio Protocols for LTE and LTE-Advanced, Wiley, 2012, ISBN 978-1-118-18853-8

External links

White papers and other technical information

E-UTRA

E-UTRA is the air interface of 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) upgrade path for mobile networks. It is an acronym for Evolved Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) Terrestrial Radio Access, also referred to as the 3GPP work item on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) also known as the Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA) in early drafts of the 3GPP LTE specification. E-UTRAN is the initialism of Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network and is the combination of E-UTRA, user equipment (UE), and E-UTRAN Node B or Evolved Node B (EnodeB).

It is a radio access network (RAN) which is referred to under the name EUTRAN standard meant to be a replacement of the UMTS and HSDPA/HSUPA technologies specified in 3GPP releases 5 and beyond. Unlike HSPA, LTE's E-UTRA is an entirely new air interface system, unrelated to and incompatible with W-CDMA. It provides higher data rates, lower latency and is optimized for packet data. It uses OFDMA radio-access for the downlink and SC-FDMA on the uplink. Trials started in 2008.

ENodeB

E-UTRAN Node B, also known as Evolved Node B (abbreviated as eNodeB or eNB), is the element in E-UTRA of LTE that is the evolution of the element Node B in UTRA of UMTS. It is the hardware that is connected to the mobile phone network that communicates directly wirelessly with mobile handsets (UEs), like a base transceiver station (BTS) in GSM networks.

Traditionally, a Node B has minimum functionality, and is controlled by a Radio Network Controller (RNC). However, with an eNB, there is no separate controller element. This simplifies the architecture and allows lower response times.

Home eNodeB

A Home eNodeB, or HeNB, is the 3GPP's term for an LTE femtocell or Small Cell.

An eNodeB is an element of an LTE Radio Access Network, or E-UTRAN. A HeNB performs the same function of an eNodeB, but is optimized for deployment for smaller coverage than macro eNodeB, such as indoor premises and public hotspots.

Home Node B is 3G (UMTS) counterpart of the HeNB.

LG Watch Sport

The LG Watch Sport is a smartwatch released by LG Corporation on Feb 09, 2017. The device is one of the first smartwatches to ship with Android Wear version 2.0 with LTE (telecommunication) and Android Pay support.

LTE-M

LTE-M (LTE-MTC [Machine Type Communication]), which includes eMTC (enhanced Machine Type Communication), is a type of low power wide area network (LPWAN) radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services (specifically, for machine-to-machine and Internet of Things applications). The specification for eMTC (LTE Cat-M1) was frozen in 3GPP Release 13 (LTE Advanced Pro), in June 2016. Other 3GPP IoT technologies include NB-IoT and EC-GSM-IoT.The advantage of LTE-M over NB-IoT is its comparatively higher data rate, mobility, and voice over the network, but it requires more bandwidth, is more costly, and cannot be put into guard band frequency band for now.. In March 2019, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association reported that over 100 operators had deployed/launched either NB-IoT or LTE-M networks.

LTE Advanced

LTE Advanced is a mobile communication standard and a major enhancement of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. It was formally submitted as a candidate 4G to ITU-T in late 2009 as meeting the requirements of the IMT-Advanced standard, and was standardized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in March 2011 as 3GPP Release 10.

LTE Advanced Pro

LTE Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro, also known as 4.5G, 4.5G Pro, 4.9G, Pre-5G, 5G Project) is a name for 3GPP release 13 and 14. It is the next-generation cellular standard following LTE Advanced (LTE-A) and supports data rates in excess of 3 Gbit/s using 32-carrier aggregation. It also introduces the concept of License Assisted Access, which allows sharing of licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

Additionally, it incorporates several new technologies associated with 5G, such as 256-QAM, Massive MIMO, LTE-Unlicensed and LTE IoT, that allow evolution of existing networks into supporting the 5G standard.

LTE frequency bands

Long Term Evolution (LTE) telecommunications networks use several frequency bands with associated bandwidths.

LTE in unlicensed spectrum

LTE in unlicensed spectrum (LTE-Unlicensed, LTE-U) is a proposed extension of the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless standard intended to allow cellular network operators to offload some of their data traffic by accessing the unlicensed 5 GHz frequency band. LTE-Unlicensed is a proposal, originally developed by Qualcomm, for the use of the 4G LTE radio communications technology in unlicensed spectrum, such as the 5 GHz band used by 802.11a and 802.11ac compliant Wi-Fi equipment. It would serve as an alternative to carrier-owned Wi-Fi hotspots. Currently, there are number of variants of LTE operation in the unlicensed band, namely LTE-U, License Assisted Access (LAA), and MulteFire.

Currently, only T-Mobile supports it in selected areas in the US, and AIS supports for some areas in Bangkok, and the only devices supporting it are smartphones that using Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 821, 835 and 845 processor with X12 LTE modem, Exynos 9 Series 8895/9810 processor. or using Skyworks model SKY662xx-xx/SKY663xx-xx/SKY781xx-xx modem.

List of countries by 4G LTE penetration

This is a list of countries by 4G LTE penetration.

The following is a list of countries/territories by 4G LTE coverage as measured by OpenSignal.com in October, November and December of 2018.

MulteFire

MulteFire is an LTE-based technology that operates standalone in unlicensed and shared spectrum, including the global 5 GHz band. Based on 3GPP Release 13 and 14, MulteFire technology supports Listen-Before-Talk for fair co-existence with Wi-Fi and other technologies operating in the same spectrum. It supports private LTE and neutral host deployment models. Target vertical markets include industrial IoT, enterprise, cable, and various other vertical markets.

The MulteFire Release 1.0 specification was developed by the MulteFire Alliance, an independent, diverse and international member-driven consortium. Release 1.0 was published to MulteFire Alliance members in January 2017 and was made publicly available in April 2017. The MulteFire Alliance is currently working on Release 1.1 which will add further optimizations for IoT and new spectrum bands.

According to Harbor Research in its published white paper, the market opportunity for private LTE networks for industrial and commercial IoT will reach $118.5 billion in 2023. It also reported that the total addressable revenue for Enterprise markets deploying private and neutral host LTE with MulteFire will reach $5.7 billion by 2025.

The MulteFire Alliance has grown to more than 40 members. Its board members include Boingo Wireless, CableLabs, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and SoftBank. The organization is open to any company with an interest in advancing LTE and cellular technology in unlicensed and shared spectrum.

Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service

Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services (MBMS) is a point-to-multipoint interface specification for existing and upcoming 3GPP cellular networks, which is designed to provide efficient delivery of broadcast and multicast services, both within a cell as well as within the core network. For broadcast transmission across multiple cells, it defines transmission via single-frequency network configurations. The specification is referred to as Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services (eMBMS) when transmissions are delivered through an LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. eMBMS is also known as LTE Broadcast.Target applications include mobile TV and radio broadcasting, live streaming video services, as well as file delivery and emergency alerts.

Questions remain whether the technology is an optimization tool for the operator or if an operator can generate new revenues with it. Several studies have been published on the domain identifying both cost savings and new revenues.

Narrowband IoT

Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services. The specification was frozen in 3GPP Release 13 (LTE Advanced Pro), in June 2016. Other 3GPP IoT technologies include eMTC (enhanced Machine-Type Communication) and EC-GSM-IoT.NB-IoT focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and high connection density. NB-IoT uses a subset of the LTE standard, but limits the bandwidth to a single narrow-band of 200kHz. It uses OFDM modulation for downlink communication and SC-FDMA for uplink communications. In March 2019, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association announced that over 100 operators have deployed/launched either NB-IoT or LTE-M networks.

OpenLTE

OpenLTE is an open source implementation of the 3GPP LTE specifications. In the current version, it includes an eNodeB with a built-in simple Evolved Packet Core, and some tools for scanning and recording LTE signals based on GNU Radio.

QoS Class Identifier

QoS Class Identifier (QCI) is a mechanism used in 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks to ensure bearer traffic is allocated appropriate Quality of Service (QoS). Different bearer traffic requires different QoS and therefore different QCI values. QCI value 9 is typically used for the default bearer of a UE/PDN for non privileged subscribers.

SRVCC

Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) provides an interim solution for handing over VoLTE (Voice over LTE) to 2G/3G networks. The voice calls on LTE network are meant to be packet switched calls which use IMS system to be made. To make it inter operable with existing networks, these calls are to be handed over to Circuit switched calls in GSM/WCDMA networks. QoS is ensured by SRVCC operators for calls made.

3GPP also standardized SRVCC to provide easy handovers from LTE network to GSM/UMTS network.

System Architecture Evolution

System Architecture Evolution (SAE) is the core network architecture of 3GPP's LTE wireless communication standard.

SAE is the evolution of the GPRS Core Network, with some differences:

simplified architecture

all-IP Network (AIPN)

support for higher throughput and lower latency radio access networks (RANs)

support for, and mobility between, multiple heterogeneous access networks, including E-UTRA (LTE and LTE Advanced air interface), 3GPP legacy systems (for example GERAN or UTRAN, air interfaces of GPRS and UMTS respectively), but also non-3GPP systems (for example WiFi, WiMAX or cdma2000)

Video over LTE

ViLTE, an acronym for Video over LTE, is a conversational (i.e. person to person) video service based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core network like VoLTE. It has specific profiles for the control and VoLTEof the video service and uses LTE as the radio access medium. The service as a whole is governed by the GSM Association in PRD IR.94.

Voice over LTE

Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals — including IoT devices and wearables. It is based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network, with specific profiles for control and media planes of voice service on LTE defined by GSMA in PRD IR.92. This approach results in the voice service (control and media planes) being delivered as data flows within the LTE data bearer. This means that there is no dependency on (or ultimately, requirement for) the legacy circuit-switched voice network to be maintained. VoLTE has up to three times more voice and data capacity than 3G UMTS and up to six times more than 2G GSM. Furthermore, it frees up bandwidth because VoLTE’s packets headers are smaller than those of unoptimized VoIP/LTE.

0G radio telephones (1946)
1G (1979)
2G (1991)
2G transitional
(2.5G, 2.75G)
3G (2001)
3G transitional
(3.5G, 3.75G, 3.9G)
4G (2009)
IMT Advanced (2013)
5G (2019)
IMT-2020 (under development)
Related articles
Wireless video and data distribution methods
Radio
Video
Data
Standards
History
Pioneers
Transmission
media
Network topology
and switching
Multiplexing
Networks
Wired
Wireless

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