LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is a a 4th generation (4G) mobile broadband standard and is the successor to the 3G technologies CDMA/GSM/UMTS. The service is currently being used by Verizon Wireless (1 year anniversary on 12/5/2011), AT&T, Vodafone and many more worldwide. LTE is considered the competitor to WiMAX utilized by Sprint and Clearwire and is typically much faster on both uplink/download speeds.
Like WiMAX, this technology provides broadband services wirelessly (like EVDO), but instead of transmitting signals via microwaves, LTE utilizes a radio platform. Users need an LTE modem to access the network, which can be in USB format (most common), ExpressCard, PCMCIA, embedded in a laptop, or in a variety of 4G LTE capable smartphones. For Verizon Wireless the most popular options are the Pantech UML290 or MiFi 4510L for users that would like a portable hotspot instead. These Verizon devices typically deliver between 5-12Mbps download and 2-5Mbps upload with some users getting even faster speeds! Checkout our Verizon 4G LTE speedtests using a MiFi 4510L below:
Verizon 4G LTE Speedtest Results:
This super-fast network, is capable of delivering theoretical peak download rates of up 100Mbps (real-world speeds will vary, of course), provides an alternative to DSL, cable, satellite, and dial-up internet, which will be a big boon to people living in areas that aren't currently serviced by a high-speed network. With Cable like speeds 4G LTE also makes an excellent failover solution that can run your entire business, if your primary connection goes down often! It will also free people from the burden of having to find a WiFi hotspot when they are on the road - as long as you have an LTE modem, you can connect to the internet anywhere in the service provider's coverage area!
- Theoretical downlink peak data rates up to 100 Mbps with 20 MHz bandwidth
- Theoretical uplink peak data rates up to 50 Mbps with 20 MHz bandwidth
- Reduced latency to 10 msec round-trip time between user equipment and base station (Real world average 40-75ms)
WiMAX through Sprint and Clearwire took an early lead, but over the last year Verizon has rapidly deployed 4G LTE and currently covers over 170 markets with 4G service. They plan to cover their entire 3G footprint with 4G by the end of 2013, and AT&T users can currently enjoy 4G LTE in approximately 15 markets. At this time the U.S currently has the global lead with LTE deployment accounting for 47% of all global LTE subscribers.
Are there any downsides to 4G LTE?
When 4G LTE was released on Verizon Wireless there were a lot of excited people out there that intended on using these with IP Cameras to stream real time video. The increased upload capacity would have been great to deliver a higher quality stream, but Verizon 4G LTE doesn't work for remote applications. This limitation prevented customers from opening ports or configuring a Dynamic DNS client to remotely access their device. At this time there is no way to get around this limitation and the only solution IP camera solution that works on Verizon 4G LTE is a CloudCam. For more information on how CloudCams get around this issue visit our CloudCam review - Click: CloudCam Review
Verizon (Red Map) vs. AT&T (Blue Map) 4G LTE Coverage Maps (Updated: 12/6/2011):
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