Originally published: January 21, 2012
Last updated: January 21, 2012 - 1:57pm
This week, the International Telecommunication Union approved the LTE-Advanced standard, and the web understandably got excited, in some cases, even proclaiming the arrival of ‘5G’. The wireless broadband nerd contingent at GigaOM is also pretty amped up about LTE-Advanced and the huge gains in speeds, capacity and network efficiency it will deliver, but we also think the party is a bit premature. LTE-Advanced will ultimately have a huge impact on the mobile networks and the devices that use them, but don’t expect 1 Gbps speeds to suddenly pop on your phones next year. LTE-Advanced won’t come out as a single new network like plain-old LTE did, but rather, in waves. It’s more like a menu of technologies: Operators will select whatever technology or technique that looks tastiest at the time, implement it in their current LTE networks, and when they get hungry for more speed, capacity or efficiency, they will return to their vendors for another meal.