Hurry up And Wait For 4G

Wireless 4G roll-outs won’t likely start until between 2010 and 2012, and even the
International Telecommunication Union’s official definition of the
technology won’t be released until 2008 or 2009.

But that hasn’t stopped major players from pushing the primary 4G
technologies of the future, expected to be Long Term Evolution (LTE),
Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) and IEEE 802.16m WiMAX.

“Each of the contending 4G technologies has a cheerleader, with
Ericsson touting LTE, Qualcomm preferring UMB, and Intel touting
802.16m WiMAX,” In-Stat analyst Gemma Tedesco said in a statement.
Tedesco authored a report, “The Road to 4G: Will LTE, UMB and WiMAX
Just Be Stops Along the Way?”

In the report, Tedesco posits that two widely expected requirements
for 4G technologies are that they be Orthogonal Frequency Division
Multiple Access-based, and that they support 100Mbps for wide area
mobile applications. Also probable is that mobile operators will
initially deploy 4G very slowly, relying on their EV-DO or HSPA
networks to provide for more ubiquitous coverage.

After that, 4G is up for grabs. Tedesco said that “real” 4G will
likely be a combination of LTE, UMB and 802.16m WiMAX, after each
alone falls short of throughput and other expectations.

At the beginning of the decade, there was similar anticipation for a 3G
revolution. With 3G , everyone was supposed to win: governments
selling spectrum licenses; wireless carriers with new revenue; and
users with better devices over faster networks.

In 2002, reported those promises had not yet been fulfilled.

It wasn’t until 2005 that major carriers such as Cingular (now AT&T) and Verizon Wireless got going with 3G.

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