Have you ever wondered what the letters “LTE” at the top of your phone imply while you’re using your phone’s data to access the internet? Look no further because this article will explain what LTE stands for in detail.
It’s one of the various wireless communication standards available. But what exactly is LTE, and how does it vary from 5G?
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What Does “LTE” Mean on a Phone?
Long Term Evolution is the abbreviation for LTE. LTE is a wireless data transmission standard that allows you to browse the internet, visit your favorite websites, watch movies, and download music at a significantly quicker rate than earlier generations of network technology, such as 3G.
LTE is also known as 4G, but what is the difference between the two? LTE and 4G are interchangeable terms. LTE is the technology that underpins 4G, or fourth-generation mobile communications.
Long Term Evolution, or LTE, is a 4G wireless broadband standard that allows mobile carriers to provide data and voice services to their customers. It has a lower latency and better internet speeds than 3G. As a result, you may watch films, play games, and send large amounts of data all from the palm of your hand.
Smartphones and mobile hotspots are the main users of LTE. However, the technology can be found on various smartwatches, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets.
While LTE is widely promoted as 4G LTE, it technically does not match the ITU Radiocommunications Sector’s criteria for a 4G wireless service (ITU-R). The International Telecommunication Union’s Research Division (ITU-R) is in charge of designing communications standards such as 4G. A real 4G network, according to the ITU-R, provides peak data transmission speeds of at least 100Mbps in motion and at least 1Gbps when stationary.
LTE on your Smartphone
Apps and functions on smartphones, such as maps, weather, and internet browsing, rely largely on data sent and received over a cellular provider’s network. 3G, 4G, and LTE are the several mobile networks that are in charge of this. These are network technology generations. The third-generation network, 3G, was built first, followed by 4G, and lastly, LTE.
The iPhone 5, for example, was the first iPhone model to support LTE. Previously, the iPhone 4s could handle both 4G and 3G, whereas the iPhone 4 could only support 3G. LTE is supported on the iPhone 5 and subsequent generations.
It’s the same story with different Android device versions, so check with the manufacturer to determine if your handset supports LTE or even 5G.
How does LTE Work?
To provide voice and data services to its customers, cellular standards have generally employed both circuit-switching and packet-switching networks. A packet-switching network, on the other hand, uses data packets to send information from one device to another through a digital network, whereas a circuit-switching network makes a dedicated connection to the person on the other end and keeps it until the call is concluded. These data packets do not require a dedicated line and are free to take the path of least resistance to their destination.
Here are a few key points to remember about how LTE operates at a high level:
- LTE provides lower latency and higher throughput over the network, vastly increasing the performance of 3G networks.
- LTE uses a different band than 3G networks and necessitates new hardware.
- LTE offers data download speeds of several hundred megabits per second (Mbps), compared to several tens of megabits per second (Mbps) for 3G, making LTE 5-10 times faster than 3G.
- On smartphones and tablets, LTE can enable data, voice (VoLTE), instant messaging, and video all through a single interface. This was done over different systems with 3G, and speech and data were mutually exclusive on some networks.
Unlike 2G and 3G networks, LTE uses a packet-switching network exclusively. As a result, placing voice calls does not require circuit switching. Instead, voice calls are handled using VoLTE, or voice-over LTE. When a phone doesn’t support VoLTE or LTE isn’t available, LTE includes the circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) option, which allows voice calls to be made via existing 3G and 2G networks. Carriers employed CSFB regularly during the early days of LTE deployment. However, VoLTE is now extremely common.
To provide higher internet speeds and minimal latency, LTE makes optimum use of existing network resources. MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output), Carrier Aggregation, multi-carrier modulation, and other technologies make this possible.
LTE vs 5G
5G is expected to provide speeds 20 times faster than 4G LTE1. 4G LTE offers a peak speed of 1 gigabit per second, whereas 5G may possibly reach 20 gigabits per second. These are, of course, ‘peak speeds,’ and we’ll have to wait and see how 5G performs in the real world once it’s available.
Networks can move massive amounts of data faster with 5G than they can with 4G LTE. That implies faster downloads of movies and shows, as well as video chat on the go. At major gatherings, there will be more connected devices with a faster signal.
The cost of data transfer on a private LTE network is typically lower than on a public network. Private LTE networks, especially when utilized with a virtual private network, can be far more secure than public 5G networks because the company controls the security.
And, because 5G networks are still in their infancy, it will take time for them to mature, much as LTE did over time. Furthermore, because 5G is a brand-new technology that isn’t backward compatible with prior network generations, you’ll need a 5G-compatible gadget to use it. As a result, your LTE phone, for example, will not be able to connect to a 5G network.
Overall, while 5G has significant advantages over LTE, it is not yet ready to completely replace LTE. So, at least for the next few years, 5G and LTE will coexist and complement each other.