First commercial 4G wireless network debuts

The new service is capable of transmitting data 10 times faster than current 3G wireless technologies

Mobile communications took a leap forward today with the debut of the world’s first commercially available broadband wireless service to rely on fourth-generation (4G), long-term evolution (LTE) technology.

The new service, which is capable of transmitting data more than 10 times faster than current third-generation (3G) wireless technologies, was officially rolled out in Stockholm today by Sweden’s TeliaSonera, using equipment provided by Ericsson.

LTE involves a variety of approaches to transferring large volumes of data wirelessly but primarily reflects a move from circuit-switching technology to data-packet switching. That, and the ability to use available broadband frequencies more efficiently, results in much shorter delays, or latency, in signal exchanges and creates the potential for wireless transmission speeds that rival those over fiber-optic networks.

While U.S. carriers, including Verizon and Sprint, have been experimenting with 4G systems in the United States, the TeliaSonera network is being hailed as the first 4G wireless network to be commercially available.

Ericsson, which supplies many of the world’s telecommunications providers -- including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile -- said it provided TeliaSonera with an LTE system that included LTE radio base stations, an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network, a mobile backhaul solution, a new multi-access aggregation switch, and an operation and management system. The LTE system is based on 3G telecommunication standards (3GGP) for LTE radio technology and EPC technology.

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.


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