Long Term Evolution

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The recent increase of mobile data usage and emergence of new applications such as MMOG (Multimedia Online Gaming), mobile TV, Web 2.0, stre...

LTE Introduction

The recent increase of mobile data usage and emergence of new applications such as MMOG (Multimedia Online Gaming), mobile TV, Web 2.0, streaming contents have motivated the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to work on the Long-Term Evolution (LTE). LTE is the latest standard inthe mobile network technology tree that previously realized the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSxPA networktechnologies that now account for over 85% of all mobile subscribers.

LTE will ensure 3GPP’scompetitive edge over other cellular technologies.LTE, whose radio access is called Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN), isexpected to substantially improve end-user throughputs, sector capacity and reduce user planelatency, bringing significantly improved user experience with full mobility.

With the emergence ofInternet Protocol (IP) as the protocol of choice for carrying all types of traffic, LTE is scheduled toprovide support for IP-based traffic with end-to-end Quality of service (QoS). Voice traffic will besupported mainly as Voice over IP (VoIP) enabling better integration with other multimedia services.Initial deployments of LTE are expected by 2010 and commercial availability on a larger scale 1-2years later.

Unlike HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), which was accommodated within the Release 99 UMTSarchitecture, 3GPP is specifying a new Packet Core, the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network architectureto support the E-UTRAN through a reduction in the number of network elements, simplerfunctionality, improved redundancy but most importantly allowing for connections and hand-over toother fixed line and wireless access technologies, giving the service providers the ability to delivera seamless mobility experience

LTE has been set aggressive performance requirements that rely on physical layer technologies,such as, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) and Multiple-Input Multiple-Output(MIMO) systems, Smart Antennas to achieve these targets. The main objectives of LTE are to minimizethe system and User Equipment (UE) complexities, allow flexible spectrum deployment inexisting or new frequency spectrum and to enable co-existence with other 3GPP Radio AccessTechnologies (RATs).

LTE is backed by most 3GPP and 3GPP2 service providers who along with the other interested partiesaim to complete and agree the EUTRAN Standards by Q4-2007 and the EPC by Q1-2008.

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