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June 18, 2010

LTE Soft Modems Now, Verizon LTE Cellphones and the Near Future of 4G Long Term Evolution

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1. Fiercewireless reports that Verizon Wireless is just months away from launching their LTE (Long term evolution) 4G wireless network

There are lots of unknowns about how early LTE deployments will perform in real-world scenarios and how quickly the LTE device ecosystem beyond USB dongles and aircards will develop. AT&T is lagging in deploying any 4G or upgraded 3G network, so AT&T is trying to trash any of the early devices and systems.

Verizon has recorded throughput in the 8 Mbps to 12 Mbps range, and that he expects commercial LTE speeds will be better than 7 Mbps. He added that the company is working with several technology firms to explore compression techniques that could improve video over LTE. The LTE communication should be 3 to 7 times faster than 3G phones and as fast or faster than Sprints Wimax phones and network that have availability now.

Verizon Wireless is planning to offer a slew of devices, including tablet computers and three to five phones, that could run on its new LTE high-speed wireless network by May 2011 The devices will be shown at the January, 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Motorola, HTC, LG and Research In Motion could also be among the first in 2011 with phones for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed wireless network that Verizon plans to switch on later in 2010.


Verizon Wireless also is busy building out its brand new LTE network to cover 25 to 30 markets with 100 million people, including New York by the end of this year.

Verison will start selling Android tablet computers in 2010. These devices will initially run on Verizon's existing CDMA network, but consumers will be able to upgrade them to work on the LTE network, which McAdam said would be fast enough to download a full high-definition movie in less than a minute.

The first consumer applications to take advantage of the higher speed service could be multi-player video gaming, video conferencing and downloading video on demand, he said.

Verizon plans to have LTE in its entire network with coverage for 285 million people by the end of 2013, but McAdam said that rural operators could use Verizon spectrum to build out areas that his company does not serve before then.


Range of Analyst Predictions on Speed of LTE Device Ramp

Strategy Analytics' new mobile broadband market outlook report says that sales of new devices with integrated mobile broadband connectivity, along with external USB modems, will top 100 million in 2010 and grow to 200 million modem sales by 2014. Of those, the company says that 42 percent will be LTE modems.

WiseHarbor Research recently announced that it will be 2016, or five years after the first LTE devices (USB dongles, aircards, etc.) make their debut, before LTE acounts for more than 25 percent of mobile broadband device sales



2. Cognovo, is a startup focused on developing software-defined modems (SDMs) for 4G communications. They have provided some details of its SDM platform, including that a multimode modem implementation should occupy just 6 square millimeters in a leading-edge process.

Cognovo claimed that using the SDM platform can cut development times can be reduced by 9 to 12 months compared with a hardware-based modem design approach. In addition, designs can remain flexible closer to deployment. However, Cognovo also said it has overcome problems of power consumption associated with software-based modems. These problems have restricted the commercial deployment of SDR to predominately military and infrastructure applications. The SDM platform is based on the Ardbeg Vector Signal Processor technology spun out from ARM. The SDM platform is under evaluation at some handset OEMs.




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