With the increasing need for rich multimedia services, Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the next step to enabling enhancements with end-users experience. Utilising high speed data transmission of 100mb/s downlink and 50Mb/s uplink for mobile users, this new technology will provide an avenue for mobile operators to increase revenue through the provision of in-demand applications that requires high speed packet transmission such as interactive TV, video conferencing, online gaming and more dynamic mobile features. LTE, which is designed to be backward compatible with GSM and HSPA, will also reduce cost through it’s use of the converged IP infrastructure.
In the current marketplace, LTE seems to be on track and attracting global support from the industry. Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo will be launching it’s first commercial LTE network in 2010 and the USA’s largest CDMA operator, Verizon Wireless is currently trailing LTE and planning to launch commercial LTE services in 2010 as well. Based on statistics from the Global mobile Suppliers Association, 31 network operators have committed to deploy 3GPP LTE systems worldwide.
Stakeholders in the telecom space are looking forward to the advent and commercialization of LTE. However, in these early days, there remain issues that operators and vendors alike, need to continuously assess:
- Cost expenditures and ROI
- Seamless migration
- Billing, provisioning and service assurance
- Adequate backhaul systems
- Availability of equipments and infrastructure