How LTE Changes Mobility - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

04:25 PM

How LTE Changes Mobility

Long Term Evolution is global, it's fast, and it's available now on 57 networks in 34 countries. Too bad it faces significant obstacles.

InformationWeek Green - Apr. 2, 2012 InformationWeek Green
Download the entire Apr. 2, 2012 issue of InformationWeek, distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative
(Registration required.)
We will plant a tree for each of the first 5,000 downloads.

The mobile broadband industry is becoming a victim of its own success as an unprecedented number of bytes flow across the airwaves. Yet efforts to free up additional spectrum are going nowhere fast, putting carriers between an extremely slow-moving government and enterprise and consumer customers who want their apps and data--now.

LTE, by making more efficient use of spectrum and offering impressive features to increase capacity, promises to help operators meet demand. By itself, though, it won't be enough, so enterprise IT teams need to shore up two areas: First, choose your mobile carriers carefully. Among respondents to our latest InformationWeek Mobile Device Management and Security Survey, Verizon (68%) and AT&T (58%) are the top choices, but neither offers an unlimited data plan for new customers. Whichever carrier your organization selects must have a strategy to blend technology such as LTE and eventually LTE-Advanced with efforts to obtain more spectrum. It must also have a plan to increase its number of cell sites, including incorporating small cells such as femtocells and picocells. And it must have the capability to off-load data onto Wi-Fi, a process we discuss in more depth in our recent report on 3G/4G and Wi-Fi convergence.

Second, keep bandwidth limitations in mind when considering your organization's mobility initiatives. For example, 68% of respondents to our MDM survey say they use or plan to deploy virtual desktop technologies on tablets. Fifty-nine percent say they have enabled or will enable access to cloud services via mobile devices.

All that requires a lot of bandwidth.

Fortunately, LTE can help address not only capacity concerns, but also quality of service, voice over IP, and fragmented radio bands.

How? First, it's blazing fast--much faster than any previous wide area wireless technology. Following the "underpromise and overdeliver" business plan--and anticipating slowdowns as their networks become saturated--operators quote more modest rates; Verizon, for example, promises an average of 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps on the downlink and 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps on the uplink. But the reality is often much better. Signals Research Group measured an average downlink speed of 23.6 Mbps and uplink speed of 15.2 Mbps on AT&T's network in Houston. Metrico Wireless reported an average downlink speed of 13 Mbps on AT&T's LTE network and 10 Mbps on Verizon's LTE network.

In the future, speeds will go even higher. That's because current networks use either 5-MHz or 10-MHz radio channels. However, LTE supports 20-MHz radio channels. Operators would love to deploy in such a wide radio channel because it not only boosts performance, it also doubles capacity for the same amount of network infrastructure. The problem is, they just don't have enough spectrum.

To read the rest of the article,
Download the Apr. 2, 2012 issue of InformationWeek

Dark Side of Mobility

Our full report on LTE is free with registration.

This report includes 14 pages of action-oriented analysis, packed with 7 charts. What you'll find:
  • A rundown of eight important LTE features
  • Discussion of global LTE and tips for IT teams charged with supporting overseas users
Get This And All Our Reports

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
4/2/2012 | 9:43:02 PM
re: How LTE Changes Mobility
LTE is still in its infancy.

Later down the track there'll be chips that use a lot less power, and chips that can handle the worldwide frequencies that are used to broadcast LTE (U.S. uses 700MHz, many other countries use 1800MHz and other variations).
User Rank: Apprentice
4/2/2012 | 6:13:43 PM
re: How LTE Changes Mobility
Didn't download the issue, but here are some questions:
1. Are Verizon and AT&T's LTE compatible? If not, they should have been required to be. If you decide you want to change providers because of performance, support, etc... you should not have to throw away hardware.
2. Does LTE provide Spectrum/Bandwidth in-addition to already existing 3G or does the provider (AT&T/Verizon) have to take away Spectrum/Bandwidth from 3G to implement LTE?
How GIS Data Can Help Fix Vaccine Distribution
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/17/2021
Graph-Based AI Enters the Enterprise Mainstream
James Kobielus, Tech Analyst, Consultant and Author,  2/16/2021
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll