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LTE Network: What is it and what is it used for in mobile telephony?

LTE Network: What is it and what is it used for in mobile telephony?

Have you heard of LTE? And the 4G? Of the latter sure, right? Maybe if you have searched for information even you have read that they are synonyms or even the same . Do not you find it a little strange that it is so?

The technology that concerns us today is born to meet the demand for a fast and successful transmission of data , something that was possible at the beginning of the century and that, of course, meant a revolution such that there was to invent something with which users could communicate at the rate that the sector offered resources.

Do you want to know what exactly it is, when you use it, what is its importance and how it differs from 4G? A lot of attention because it is precisely what you will be able to read next.

What is LTE technology and why is it so important in “mobile” telephony?


The acronym LTE refers to the Long Term Evolution concept, or its Spanish equivalent Long Term Evolution. This is a wireless mobile communication standard that 3GPP developed before the end of the first decade of the century. It arrives in our country in 2011 by the hand of telephone.

It is designed to enable data transmission between mobile devices and other data terminals at high speed . In other words, it is a mobile nacha band technology . We can say, in fact, that it would be the evolved GSM and UMTS standards .

For its part, it also meets the demand that both operators and manufacturers were making when it came to a lower complexity standard at low cost.

Standard features

Let’s see what characterizes this technology and what, in turn, offers us:

  • This includes a radio interface that is based on the OFDMA and SC-FDMA access schemes for their down and up links respectively. A quite high spectral efficiency is achieved thanks to this and, in addition, to the inclusion of a multi-antenna application system .
  • The spectrum , in general, it is of higher quality than in the case of previous networks and considerably more flexible, so that it can be managed more efficiently.
  • The technique to treat the voice that is included is the IP packet switching .
  • The Long Term Evolution includes a modulation that achieves a simple implementation of the MIMO antenna technologies that are involved.
  • The duplexing design makes it not possible to fragment the terminals by offering compatibility with FDD and TDD.
  • We talk about a bandwidth that can be adapted, ranging from 1.4 to 20 MHz (this point is reached in cases where it is offered by a UMTS operator), c on peak speeds of 86.5 Mbps for upload and up to 326.5 Mbps for download in 4 × 4 antenna systems.
  • As you can imagine, offers very high bit rates .
  • At the same time, its latency is very low , starting at 10 ms.
  • It has the goodness of being able to work in different bands of frequencies ; Thus, we find it, at present, in the 800, 1600 and 2400 MHz.
  • It has a design of 5 MHz cells that can be used, each, for up to 200 users , there are also open interfaces to separate the plane of these from the control. These support extensions of between 100 and 500 km, there is a degradation for every 30 km of land in a straight line.
  • This standard only allows the transfer of the service of each base station in its hardest way.
  • The LTE is compatible with other technologies designed by 3GPP.

Are LTE and 4G the same technology? Differences

lte y 4g

Indeed, both concepts are used synonymously, although there is a difference between them. And is that LTE technology is within 4G , that is, the 4G connection encompasses several technologies , being, one of them, the Long Term Evolution. Others would be CDMA200 UMB or WiMAX.

Thus, we could say that LTE is a type of 4G technology although, if we cling to what would be the definition of 4G connections , we have that the LTE is not part of this, although its extended or improved version, the LTE Advanced. Then, we can put it in the 4G bag, which leaves space for others.

4G is an improvement over 3G , simple and flat; One more step. LTE is a specific technology that includes everything we’ve seen before. Considering this, we have to say that differ in speed, being the fastest 4G, since it reaches 1 Gbps in optimal conditions while the LTE stays at 300 Mbps in the best case.

What are the main types of LTE networks that exist?

Hold on because so far there are more than fifty types of LTE networks . However, you should not be scared, because these are nothing more than a classification by which the download and upload speeds, MHz, location and little else are taken into account; There is nothing history.

These correspond to the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3… up to number 67 (except for some. The first five were created before the fourth generation of networks was given mobiles , back in 2008 (with this we see, again, that LTE and 4G are not the same).

And so we could go on. The essence is that you know that these are not classified according to very different aspects . They are created, more or less, as the need exists and the conditions to implement them exist. Hence, some are exclusive, for example, for a single company.

Thus, we have a total of 67 LTE network categories spread across the world; some have a wide extension both geographically and at the level of use by operators and others and some others are, as we have seen, owned by a single company or associates.

Evolution of mobile networks, from 1G to 5G …

evolucion redes moviles

Mobile networks obviously occur with the appearance of mobile devices, that is, wireless, without the use of cables, and the possibility of transferring information with them.

The first generation is known – or not so much – as 1G and it is the analog telephone system that includes cables , so it is not considered, therefore , a mobile network, although it is always worth mentioning, because it is the great forgotten.

The second generation comes with the GSM network or Group Special Mobile (now called Global System for Mobile Communication), the first one designed in a completely digital way It is ideal for transmitting voice data , that is, for making calls. For this reason, although it is old, all phones are still compatible with any of the bands used (GSM 850, 900, 1800 and 1900).

This is followed by the GPRS or General Packet Radio System, considered the 2.5G network . This allows in sending non-switched data , which was a source of problems with the previous one. The speed increases to 144,000 bps from the network to a mobile device. It uses spaces we don’t use by voice.

The EDGE network is 2.75G , faster than the previous one in relation to the proximity of the antenna , which is achieved through a data modulator system.

The third generation is given with the UMTS network, which involves making video calls . In addition, the data connection reaches 384000 bps . As in the previous case, the priority is the devices closest to the antennas.

The 3.5G or HSPA network greatly increases the speed given, under optimal conditions, between the control panel and the device, reaching 14.4 MBit / s. It has two versions that improve the speed in both directions.

The LTE is the protagonist network of the fourth generation in its Advanced version. It includes orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing technology and supplements the problem of coverage priority for nearby devices s that left the distant ones devoid of.

The 5G or the fifth generation network is currently being implemented. In fact, it will be our turn, in Spain, to re-tune DTT, since its band will become the channel for it. It has a capacity of 100 Mbps, with peaks of 10 Gbps under optimal circumstances and a latency of 1 ms.

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