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Definition: LTE


(Long Term Evolution) The latest high-speed cellular transmission network. LTE is a 4G technology that uses the GSM software infrastructure but different hardware interfaces. 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 and 3G.

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 (for details, see LTE Advanced).

LTE Is Based on IP Packets
In 3G and prior cellular networks, voice was handled by the traditional circuit-switched network, and only data were packet switched. 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).

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

  OTHER LTE TECHNOLOGIES

  Unlicensed Spectrum  See LTE-U.

  Internet of Things   See LTE-for IoT.

  Higher Speed         See LTE Advanced.