IEEE throws its weight behind LTE for rural comms
The IEEE, the world’s leading standards setter for digital technology, says the increased bandwidth of LTE, the new all-digital “4G” mobile communications technology, will quickly benefit people who don’t have easy access to adequate fixed line services.
The IEEE signed off 802.16m, an advanced version of the LTE standard in March.
Commenting on World Telecommunications Day on 17 May, Dr Shuzo Kato, IEEE Fellow and inventor of the TDMA chipset in 1986, said, “Increased bandwidth through 4G will open many doors for rural areas of the world that do not currently have easy access to advanced data networks.”
Kato said LTE’s peak data transfer speeds were between 10 Mbps and Gbps. This was faster than most consumers’ landline internet access today, he said.
He added that 4G technologies operated on more frequency bands than previous wireless generations. This meant operators could use same amount of power at lower-frequency signals to drive signals much further from transmitter stations. This broadened geographic coverage at lower cost.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, is expected to launch at the end of the year an auction for spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands which will allow operators to start investing in LTE technologies. Its consultation on the issue closes at the end of the month.