Mystery LTE Device Gets OK From FCC

Not many details are known about the LG Electronics device, but it shows that 4G mobile networks aren't too far away.

Marin Perez, Contributor

March 20, 2009

1 Min Read

The Federal Communications Commission approved a device from LG Electronics that will be one of the first to use the next generation of mobile broadband.

The device is simply known as "LTE User Equipment," and it will utilize the Long Term Evolution 4G technology. Not much else is known about the device, other than that it's not a phone, and that it transmits in the 1,700-MHz band and receives in the 2,100-MHz band.

While companies like T-Mobile are just beginning to roll out their 3G networks, LG's approval shows that the next generation of mobile broadband has already begun. The modern 3G networks can deliver up to 7.2-Mbps download speed, which has been enough speed for things like mobile TV and mobile Web surfing. But LTE has a theoretical limit of 100 Mbps, which could lead to services like streaming high-definition video and potentially challenge home Internet service providers.

This technology is being backed by most of the major cellular operators around the world, including AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, Rogers Wireless, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone. Verizon is taking the lead with LTE deployment, and it plans to cover 25 to 30 markets by the end of 2010 and have nationwide coverage by 2015.

The deployment plan is more aggressive than most industry watchers predicted, and it was undoubtedly spurred by the rollout of WiMax. This competing 4G technology is being deployed by Clearwire, which is backed by Sprint Nextel, Google, Intel, and multiple cable companies.

LTE vs. WiMax won't be the typical winner-take-all showdown. Learn what each brings to the race (registration required).

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