Speaking at a recent technology conference, Verizon director of network technology Praveen Atreya says that the next-generation of 4G LTE is already on the carrier’s road map for the future. After Verizon finishes its deployment of 4G LTE across the nation, the carrier will be upgrading its network infrastructure to the faster LTE-Advanced technology. Rival Clearwire, which is partnering with Sprint, has already announced that it too would look into LTE-Advanced for 4G.
LTE-Advanced offers much faster maximum download speeds than today’s 4G LTE technology. With Verizon claiming and offering real world speeds of up to 15 Mbps on the download side and 6 Mbps on the upload side, these speeds can be increase many times over with LTE-Advanced. Clearwire’s proposed implementation could deliver a potential maximum speed of up to 100 Mbps on the download side with small latency.
With AT&T only now beginning to light up its LTE network and Clearwire eyeing LTE for the future, Verizon Wireless already has a good head start on the next generation mobile broadband technology, which is capable of delivering up to ten times the speed of 3G.
LTE-Adanced can be seen as an evolution of 4G, and may be similarly named 4G+ similar to how HSPA+ is an evolution of 3G HSPA technology. In the U.S., marketing dictates that HSPA+ is referred to as 4G due to the speed promises that the technology offers, but in Europe the technology is still referred to as 3G. It’s unclear if LTE-Advanced will be classified as 4G+ or 5G when it launches.
As we’re already moving into the world of tiered and metered data plans alongside throttled plans, it’d be interesting to see how the mobile landscape for data will change once LTE-Advanced hits.