Digging Deeper Into LTE

weBoost | August 23, 2012

Per our ‘4G differences’ post a couple of weeks back we wanted to take a few minutes and break down LTE a little bit more.

LTE is a term that has been tossed around a lot lately and it doesn’t look to be going anywhere. There are many things on the horizon that suggest LTE will likely triumph in the ongoing 4G battle. The big question here: Why is it apt to win out in the end? There’s several reasons most industry folks believe LTE will become the de facto 4G.

First, LTE is now being offered by three of the four major US carriers: Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. Sprint is the most recent LTE convert in this lineup. Why is Sprint moving to LTE over its Wi-MAX 4G technology? Speed. According to Sascha Segan and Alex Colon at PC Magazine it’s faster than Sprint’s current Wi-MAX. In addition, T-Mobile is expected tobegin a LTE rollout of its own in 2013.

With three of the big four on board with LTE and the lone holdout, T-Mobile, on the way it looks like the winner.

The next signs LTE is winning the day come to us from the folks at Apple.

First off, the most recent iteration of the iPad is LTE enabled. When this happened in Q1 of this year most mobile analysts agreed it was a strong indicator of the 4G victor.

Second, the next version of the iPhone, that looks to be coming out in the next couple of weeks, is likely going to be a LTE phone. Sascha Segan spoke of LTE as one of five expected hardware upgrades to Apple’s new handset. In fact, according to Segan, LTE enablement may be a requirement as both Verizon and AT&T are looking to alleviate strain on their bursting 3G networks.

“LTE. This may be required. Verizon and AT&T simply aren’t accepting any more high-end smartphones into their lineups without LTE, as they’re so desperate to get people off their crowded 3G networks and onto the wider, emptier lanes of 4G. Apple managed to avoid the first, power-hungry generation of LTE chipsets, but now we’re seeing slimmer LTE phones with better battery life than we did last year. It’s time for Apple to make the jump over to 4G.”

So, there you have it. As the 4G drama continues to unfold it looks as if LTE is the heir-apparent for 4G. Will it play out this way? We don’t know for sure but a lot of questions will be answered when the new iPhone is announced.