Last week, T-mobile announced with its technology partner, Nortel, that together they successfully demonstrated under real-world conditions, next-generation mobile communications (NGMN). T-mobile claimed it is the first wireless network operator company to successfully demonstrate the use of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.
T-Mobile's next step is testing applications, like HDTV, HD-Video or Online Gaming, with high demands on bandwidth and latency over LTE to show their usability under real-world conditions.
Last week's demonstration used a multi-cell, end-to-end Nortel network on a four-kilometre test track which transmitted data to and from a vehicle. The vehicle was driven in Bonn (Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) between Deutsche Telekom's headquarters on one side of the river Rhine and the T-Mobile headquarters on the other river bank. On the test track, data transmission went smoothly without interruptions and without loss of quality even across different cells – one of the most important prerequisites for LTE's qualification as a mobile communications network of the future.
Long Term Evolution technology is based on the UMTS/HSPA family of standards. LTE is expected to be used by many wireless carriers to provide their customers the next-generation of wireless broadband. The evolution has been from GPRS (the first packet technology giving around 128kb/s) to EDGE (an enhanced version offering around 240kb/s) to the introduction of 3G networks increasing the data rate to 384kb/s. The goal of LTE technologies is to deliver a home cable broadband experience to your mobile phone or notebook. LTE proponents often claim peak delivery download speeds of 100Mbps.
Using HSDPA, T-Mobile USA is currently accelerating downlink speeds for mobile Internet use up to 7.2 Mbit/s. HSUPA currently provides uplink bandwidths of up to 1.4 Mbit/s. This by no means exhausts the possibilities of mobile data transfer speed increases for LTE.
At CeBIT 2008, T-Mobile was the first mobile communications provider showcasing live LTE technology. T-Mobile displayed its expertise with data download rates of up to 170 Mbit/s and upload rates of up to 50 Mbit/s. CeBIT visitors were able to experience an on-site demonstration of close to real time HD videos being transmitted.
WiMAX is often talked about as the direct competitor of LTE in the United States. However, with T-mobile USA's introduction of the HTC/Goggle phone on September 25th, its high-speed 3G (HSDPA /HSUPA) data network in 27 major US mobile phone markets – which will go to LTE - will clearly put it ahead of WiMAX's few operational deployments in the United States.
Additionally, LTE currently has an advantage over WiMAX because it is designed to be compatible with both Time Division Duplex (TDD) and Frequency Division Duplex (FDD), the two main legacy techniques for dividing downlink and uplink communication channels on the same transmission platform. WiMAX, on the other hand, is only compatible with TDD so far.
Joachim Horn, chief technology officer of T-Mobile International AG, claimed that T-mobile is driving LTE by being the first network operator worldwide to take it from the laboratory to the field.
The ongoing joint testing of LTE in a real mobile operator network will demonstrate the benefits and showcase the performance characteristics of LTE technology, according to Richard Lowe , president, Carrier Networks, at Nortel.
T-Mobile International is following a common technology path across all of its markets in Europe and the United States, from GSM/GPRS/EDGE to UMTS/HSDPA to LTE.
T-Mobile International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG. Deutsche Telekom is one of the foremost integrated telecommunications companies worldwide. As an international group of companies with some 240,000 employees in almost 50 countries throughout the world, Deutsche Telekom generated half of its revenues of €62.5 billion outside Germany in 2007.
With its three product brands, T-Home, T-Mobile and T-Systems, the company offers customers around the world modern telecommunications products and services from a single source – fixed-network telephony, broadband Internet, mobile communications and ICT answers. X