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Redirected from: 4G LTE

Definition: LTE

(Long Term Evolution) The dominant cellular transmission technology prior to 5G. Superseding 3G, LTE is a 4G technology that uses the GSM software infrastructure but different hardware interfaces. LTE/4G will coexist with 5G for some time.

Download speeds in the U.S. run the gamut from roughly 5 to 85 Mbps. Standardized in 2008, the first LTE smartphones appeared in 2011. See cellular generations, GSM, 3G and 5G.

LTE provides global interoperability in more than three dozen frequency bands worldwide. However, no single phone supports all channels (see RF filter). Speed and other enhancements were made to the original LTE standard (see LTE Advanced).

LTE Is Based on IP Packets
In 3G and all prior cellular networks, voice was handled by the traditional circuit-switched network, and only data used the packet switched architecture of the Internet. However, LTE's Evolved Packet System (EPS) transmits both voice and data in IP packets. EPS comprises the OFDMA-based E-UTRAN air interface and Evolved Packet Core (EPC). See circuit switching.

Officially 4G
In 2010, the ITU defined LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+ as 4G technologies. Previously, only LTE Advanced (LTE-A) was considered to be 4G. See LTE Advanced, LTE architecture, IP Multimedia Subsystem and 3GPP.


  Unlicensed Spectrum  See LTE-U.

  Internet of Things   See LTE-for IoT.

  Higher Speed         See LTE Advanced.