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LTE-Advanced gets official 4G certification, joins WiMAX 2

updated 04:55 pm EST, Wed November 24, 2010

4G Americas officially recognizes LTE as 4G tech

The ITU this week officially declared LTE-Advanced has been officially recognized as a 4G wireless standard. The upgraded LTE now joins WiMAX 2 as an IMT-Advanced technology. This final ratification took place at the ITU-R Study Group meeting held over the past two days in Geneva, Switzerland.I n order to qualify for official 4G status, wireless technologies need to achieve peak rates of 1Gbps in hotspots and 100Mbps while mobile, have to be fully IP-based and have the ability to switch between networks that include 4G, 3G and Wi-Fi.

Regular LTE had nine official commercial deployments in 2010, with 11 more expected before year's end that includes Verizon in December. There are reportedly over 250 companies interested in deploying LTE-based networks, with CDMA, Greenfield, GSM and WiMAX providers among them. How many would upgrade to LTE-Advanced isn't known. LTE-Advanced won't get detailed technical standards until about early 2012.

The certification could help end a debate in the US over what constitutes 4G and possibly dampen marketing claims. T-Mobile has been claiming that its HSPA+ 3G service represents 4G because of its roughly comparable real-world speeds, while AT&T has objected. Sprint is already calling its WiMAX network 4G but can't reach more than 16Mbps at peak and gets 3-6Mbps in official averages.

Current LTE already reaches theoretical peaks of 100Mbps but can't usually do so on a phone or a portable modem.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jacknyd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Caved In

    Amazing how the ITU caved into the big boys to call the new technology G4. They payed absolutely no attention to the standards set by the ITU. Just goes to show you who is really the boss.
    ITU hang it up, no one needs your comments or standards.

  1. jarauz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Caved In


    I disagree, most of the rest of the world (not so much the Chinese) follow closely activities at the ITU; regulators around the world assign bandwidth based on ITU-R recommendations. The process for WiMAX 2 and LTE-Advanced are quite complete and based on extensive field test, simulation results, standards interoperability, etc. The ITU actions significantly help in maintaining deployment costs down by a continuous homogenization processes. Furthermore, notice that in this case the ITU-R is not standardizing a technology but allowing several standards (in this case developed by the 802.16m group and 3GPP) under a standardized umbrella for which spectrum around the world has already been reserved for this use.

  1. que_ball

    Joined: Dec 1969


    LTE in lab peaks at 74Mbps

    A LTE lab test showing perfect conditions was shown on here:

    They will market this network as 100Mbps but as you can see in their video there is no possibility of exceeding 74Mbps at any time.

    I'm sure in some way the actual radio is pusing 100Mbps in one instant of time when you add every bit of overhead to the transmission but as you can see the number has no basis in real world experience even when your world is a carefully setup lab and you are the only subscriber to this perfect network.

    So if the ITU is saying that the Advance version gets 1Gbps max in fixed point to point mode that means a user would see peaks of 650Mbps. If they say 100Mbps in peak then the 74Mbps speed in the video should be the peak rate seen at any given time.

    I wish they would just bury the overinflated numbers way down in the specification sheets somewhere and only refer to the actual maximum real application data speeds that are possible and shut up about these made up numbers nobody can possibly measure in a real application.

    As of the issue of the ITU redefining the definitions for 4G. Yes, dumb. The HSPA 3G modem I bought last year has magically become a 4G device. How wonderful, but it doesn't feel any faster to me. It's actually slower than when I first bought it due to the larger number of subscribers using my carriers network. I peaked out at 13Mbps when new, now I generally never go over 9Mbps on the data stick. The current 4G marketing schemes are a load of manure. The ITU should stick to it's guns and define the standard for a fourth generation network in terms of the architectural differences and not some magical speed threshold that the T-Mobile marketing folks pressured them into accepting.

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