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LTE Wireless Standard Passes Moving Car Trial

Over a 2.5-mile course, T-Mobile and Nortel were able to sustain a data connection of 170 Mbps using Long Term Evolution.

T-Mobile and Nortel Networks were able to maintain a high-speed data connection in a car using Long Term Evolution, the companies said Friday.

In Bonn, Germany, the wireless carrier sustained data transmission to a car that was traveling between three cell sites. Without dropping calls, the field test was able to maintain data rates up to 170 Mbps for downloads and 50 Mbps for uploads.

The car was traveling more than 41 miles per hour on average, and the test field covered a span of 2.5 miles. Nortel supplied the network equipment, and Samsung supplied the handsets.

Philipp Humm, head of T-Mobile Germany, told Reuters the carrier would consider upgrading its network with the technology if it proved promising in everyday situations. Humm said a decision will be made within six months.

Last month, Nortel streamed high-definition video to a moving car using LTE. While this test represented the first handoff between cell sites, the test saw an average of 10 Mbps.

It's still too early to judge the technology, the companies said, and T-Mobile will next test applications like mobile television that require high bandwidth and low latency.

As smartphone customers use and demand faster mobile data, the next-generation of mobile broadband holds much promise due to the potential increase in download speeds. But the wireless industry has not established a standard for 4G networks.

Sprint, with the backing of Google, Time Warner, and other companies, is set to launch WiMax in select U.S. markets this month. But many of the major wireless providers around the globe have lined up behind LTE.

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