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LTE Magazine

The technology behind LTE is a complex array of acronyms and geek speak involving “towers” and “spectrum.” But instead of getting into all that, it’s much simpler to think of this vast new network as a highway. If the current network is a five-lane highway, then LTE represents a 20-lane superhighway complete with multiple fast and high occupancy vehicle lanes, collectors and express lanes and many on- and off-ramps. LTE technology creates these lanes to allow data (streaming video, web browsing, file transfers, gaming data) to travel more efficiently, routing them to special, dedicated lanes that ease congestion and increase speed.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. The current network can handle more traffic than it does now, but it will eventually reach its limit
  2. LTE adds more “lanes” to our wireless highway
  3. High-priority traffic is ensured a dedicated, uncongested lane
  4. A greater number of wider, dedicated data “on-ramps” eliminate network-access bottlenecks and ensure traffic keeps flowing smoothly
  5. In addition to adding lanes, LTE also jams data packets (cars in our highway for example) more densely into the available lane space. No fear of a fear-end collision, through; the robots are driving

ASK AN EXPERT

Ericsson’s director of broadband strategy, Dr. Ali Shah, answers a few questions about LTE.

Q:What’s so awesome about LTE?

A: LTE’s capability is flexible. It can operate on 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz of spectrum. And then future versions, if you can add, say, four of those 20 MHz [bands], you can work on 80 MHz and go up to 1 GB per second. That’s why it’s called Long Term Evolution. It’s a whole decade ahead. And that’s why Rogers is making that investment now, starting to build that futuristic model.

Q: What will some of the performance differences be?

A: Current 3G networks are still in the single digit MB per second range. With LTE, you will see double digits. In terms of latency (delay of a network). LTE will reduce that delay.

Q: Currently if I’m in an area not supported by 3G or HSPA+, my connection will drop back to the next available network, like EDGE. Will it be the same with LTE?

A: The whole concept behind LTE is it’s a seamless network. When a user leaves [the LTE area], they will go to an HSPA network or a 3G network. They’re like two pieces of cloth stitched together to make a trouser but, for the user, they won’t be able to see the seams. LTE was built on the standard that it will be uninterruptible.


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19 thoughts on “LTE – How does it work?

Carol, on said:

how much more will this cost a month

Reply

TerryS, on said:

An obvious typo. In the first Q&A, 1 GB should read 1 Gb (i.e it's not 1 gigabyte per second, but 1 gigabit per second.) Network speeds are ALWAYS rated in bits per second (and I also know that the maximum throughput of the LTE standard is 1 Gb/s.)

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Jim Katz, on said:

All I really get from this explanation is that LTE should not make things worse, but most users won't see anything getting better either. My only question would be something that impacts me in these days of high-def photos and video. Will I be able to email 20 and 40 megabyte files anytime soon?

Reply

    rogersnicolas, on said:

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your feedback. Over the years, we've indeed seen an increase of mailbox capacities and maximum attachment size. As a matter of fact, you can already send messages up to 20mb with your Rogers Yahoo! Mail account.

PPT, on said:

Seems like Rogers succeeded again- IN CONFUSING the customers. So the point is that we don't know what Roger's LTE is, but it is something BIG. They want us to pay a fortune for that BIG.

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    rogersnicolas, on said:

    Hi PPT,
    In a nutshell, LTE allows faster speeds and a better customer experience. The text above should help you understand the infographic: "If the current network is a five-lane highway, then LTE represents a 20-lane superhighway [...]. LTE technology creates these lanes to allow data [...] to travel more efficiently, routing them to special, dedicated lanes that ease congestion and increase speed." Finally, as far as prices are concerned, all data-plans are available with LTE devices.

annonym, on said:

And, how much more will we paying for all this??.

M.

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Bernard J., on said:

Bernard here from the Town of Onoway Ab.

It would be nice just to get an explanation semi technical for us none geeks, but in a schematic format so that from old
journals I could see exactly what is going on with LTE. I'm even more confused from the none geeks, lets make it understandable and LIGHT, then perhaps we can all comprehend Thanks Bernard

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    Bernard J., on said:

    OK Thats fine, would like to see a semi analytical diagram or schematic of LTE. Thanks Bernard

John W., on said:

I don't know what all this complaining is about. I'm a simple (non geek) user with only basic simple ways of using my Iphone 4S. I personally read the explanation above and understood it for as much as I need to understand it. Seems to me this forum is done only by geeks thus they might want to talk "their language" on a different forum. Or perhaps I should do that. hmmmm. anyways, just sending my simple 2 cents worth out there……I will look for a forum with other simple minded users and read their comments…..Please don't get mad or plant any viruses on my computer as I don't mean to get anybody upset or angry…..Just sayin…..as everybody else here is sayin…..thanks very much.

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micheal piper, on said:

Why are you ppl always complaining? I understood their explanation of the network, while not being a geek at all. And if you are a geek, than go to the tech website and read an exhaustive article about the topic.

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Edward, on said:

What a horrible explanation! Did I expect anything less from Rogers? no. It sounds like a geek trying to talk dumb…I think they succeeded.

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Anonymous, on said:

Yeah, but too bad that you can't actually make a call and be on the LTE network at the same time. Or that Rogers is currently kicking you off your phone in the middle of a call to reset your antenna without your permission to disable LTE. Glad I got rid of my GSII LTE for the Nexus. Yes, the data is slower, but at least the whole thing works.

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Graham, on said:

Good point Robin, It drives me crazy when ISPs (who should know better) confuse this kind of terminology. Specially with an article that is supposed to be easy to read and clear. 80 mbit is not what they are talking about, they are talking about 10 mbit.

Be nice if they knew what they were talking about

Reply

Robin Winsor, on said:

I'm surprised to see this article quoting speeds in MB, megabytes, rather than Mb, megabits. A megabyte is 8 times more than a megabit, so if this is intentional then we are being promised speeds eight times higher than we might have imagined. Can this be right? People are often loose with this terminology but I hope that coming from the experts at Rogers this is intentional…

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    denny, on said:

    I'm not the expert at Rogers. I was hoping to see for their reply.

    Steve Punter, on said:

    I'm guessing that the writer (or possibly the editor) doesn't know the fine distinction between MB and Mb. I'm further guessing that neither do the majority of the readers. This is a horrendously stripped-down explanation of LTE and what it means to the average consumer, so whether the units are exactly right will probably have no impact.

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