I read an article called “Quest for 50 billion connections” from the CNS magazine dated January/February 2011 by Paul Barker.
The article focused on what’s referred to as LTE (Long Term Evolution). The article talked about Ericsson’s acquisition of Nortel’s Code Division Multi-Access and LTE business. Which was very positive since Ericsson kept the people from Nortel to continue to drive this innovation. It was nice to hear something good from the unfortunate circumstances of Nortel and its employees.
I wanted to focus on LTE and what kind of impact it would have in our daily life.
Let’s first talk lightly about what LTE and LTE Advanced is: it is the latest standard in the mobile network technology tree that produced the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies. The current generation of mobile telecommunication networks are collectively known as 3G (for “third generation”). Although LTE is often marketed as 4G, first-release LTE does not fully comply with the IMT Advanced 4G requirements. The pre-4G standard is a step toward LTE Advanced, a 4th generation standard (4G) of radio technologies designed to increase the capacity and speed of mobile telephone networks. LTE Advanced is backwards compatible with LTE and uses the same frequency bands, while LTE is not backwards compatible with 3G systems.
Okay so what does this mean? First off how does downlink speeds of 5-12Mbs and uplink speeds of 2-5Mbs sound? Pretty darn fast for mobile! Faster than most DSL or Cable connected internet access today. This means much faster speeds for much richer communication content i.e.: video, voice, etc for mobile access.
So back to my original question what will the impact mean to us? Well let’s start off with access. People will be able to use WI-FI mobility (in coverage areas) as a productivity tool since workplace access using BlackBerry Tablets, iPads, laptops, etc will be virtually the same as working offsite or from home and likely better. VOIP calls will be virtual the same quality as a regular cell call is today since the latency with 4G is a dramatic improvement.
So what’s the down side of this improvement? Outside of the fact that your kids will be able to do more on there mobile phones with more distractions for them, Security is the key issue. People will have to be aware of there security posture both personally and business wise. Mobile phones will basically be like accessing someone’s home internet access point. Imagine your mobile device connected to your home WI-Fi systems, computers, etc or better yet your mobile device connected to your business. At uplink and downlink speeds mentioned above “the bad guys” would definitely be able to get around quicker and we all know people are going to want access anywhere at anytime.
Lastly if you have some ideas on new services or innovative ideas on this market don’t hesitate because it’s coming. The old “dot.com” will be the new “mobile revolution”.