To win the 5G marketing wars, AT&T has decided to brand portions of its LTE network as “5G Evolution.” These portions of AT&T’s network have received speed-boosting upgrades and should be faster than typical LTE, but AT&T isn’t doing anything that other carriers haven’t already implemented. And these are still, by definition, LTE technologies — not 5G ones. So this is exclusively about marketing, not about improving your phone.
Facebook is exploring how the technology could be used with its mobile app. “LTE Direct would allow us to create user experiences around serendipitous interactions with a local business or a friend nearby,” said Jay Parikh, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure engineering. “You could find out about events or do impromptu meet-ups.”
However, carriers will control which devices on their networks can use LTE Direct because it uses the same radio spectrum as conventional cellular links. Wireless carriers might even gain a new stream of revenue by charging companies that want to offer services or apps using the technology, Qualcomm says.
But in joining the OTT VoIP crowd, mobile operators are quickly discovering that being popular doesn’t make mobile VoIP profitable — far from it. Infonetics’ estimation of the revenue per mobile VoIP subscriber is a mere US$7.13 annually.
For the OTT VoIP crowd, that reality means looking for other ways to make money — possibly through ad insertions or by providing the voice segment of a mashup that pulls in other third-party apps for which people will pay, such as presence or gaming, or by charging extra for video-conference or multi-party video.
Verizon is calling 4G small cells a “complement” to its existing LTE network and distributed antenna system deployments in hard-to-cover areas like building basements. The operator currently has 497 live LTE markets, which represents 95 percent coverage of its existing 3G footprint.
Sweden has the fastest LTE network, averaging 22.1 Mbps. Surprisingly Japan has the slowest at just 7.1 Mbps
Lots of interesting graphs and information in this article.
Current phones generally use only one antenna taking one stream of data at a time. LTE Advanced devices will also need more energy storage to do the necessary onboard computation. Without new breakthroughs in batteries or reductions in power consumption by other means (see “Efficiency Breakthrough Promises Smartphones that use Half the Power”), phones will simply get larger.
via For superfast 4G LTE Advanced smartphone and tablet connections, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile plan new network tests, and rollouts use chipsets from Qualcomm and others | MIT Technology Review.
Will ubiquitous mobile data bring down its cost for low bandwidth users? We shall see.
HomeFusion customers can expect rates of five to 12 Mbps and upload rates of two to five Mbps, in line with your average DSL or low-end cable Internet connection. The customer is responsible for purchasing a $200 antenna which needs to be professionally installed, and the package includes a wireless router capable of connecting four wired and 20 wireless devices to the network. You must sign a two-year agreement.
Verizon doesn’t give you much data to work with, so watch what you download or stream: 10GB of data will cost you $60 every month, 20GB, $90, and 30GB, $120. For every gigabyte you go over these limits, Verizon will zap you an extra $10. That’s not the only bad news: The carrier will also not install the antenna above the second story of a building, so apartment dwellers are out of luck.
Here’s the problem: Verizon has spent millions of dollars rolling out its massive LTE network to cover 200 million people so far. You could call it billions, if you include the $5 billion spent on the C Block 700-Mhz spectrum licenses. But according to its first-quarter earnings presentation it’s only been able to convert 9.1 percent of its 93 million users to LTE.
You Can’t Move an iPhone Customer to 4G
From Verizon’s position, the solution looks simple: move heavy data users in crowded urban areas from 3G to 4G as fast as possible. That would help everyone. The new 4G users get much faster connections, and the 3G users would see better speeds and network quality, too, as that network becomes less crowded.
Huawei says it has “recently introduced…Beyond LTE technology, which significantly increases peak rates to 30Gbps – over 20 times faster than existing commercial LTE networks.”
However it appears that Huawei is using much greater bandwidth. Its announcement goes on to say: “Key features include: innovative antenna structure [that] greatly improves performance and meets wideband requirements [and] next generation direct radio frequency technology [that] reduces costs and power consumption, and realises ultra broadband carrier aggregation.” (our italics).
The LTE-Advanced specification is for up to 100MHz of bandwidth, which need not be contiguous and up to 8×8 MIMO (eight transmit and eight receive antennas) and a maximum downstream bandwidth of 3.3Gbps.
Apple’s open source (albeit with the source code yet to be released by Apple) video chat spec first launched in 2010 with a vague promise from then-CEO Steve Jobs that it might be available over cellular data connections once the cell networks “get ready for the future.” Since then, there have been plenty of rumors that the iPhone would soon gain the ability to make FaceTime calls over 3G—particularly as the launch of iOS 5 loomed last October—but it still hasn’t happened. Attempting to make a FaceTime call when not connected to a WiFi network results in a pop-up that explains a WiFi network is necessary to complete the action.
I wonder why FaceTime cares what network carries its data. The network layers should be independent of the application. If it works with WiFi it should work with LTE.