What are the key challenges facing LTE?

Long Term Evolution (LTE) – it’s been around for a while now. Offering mobile network operators a new standard to initiate high-speed wireless communications, the possibilities arising from LTE, also called 4G technology, are endless. Aside from a better customer experience, just consider the revenue opportunities in terms of value-added services if consumers can take up new services and high speed channels that weren’t feasible before…live TV streaming, high speed internet gaming, larger file downloads… more multitasking!  In the US, LTE is already available on the iPad, with Verizon, Rogers, Bell, Telus and AT&T the faciliators. Unfortunately it isn’t compatible with other countries’ 4G frequencies. So, where’s the hold up?

We were at the LTE Conference in Barcelona, debating and discussing the steps and barriers preventing the industry from embracing LTE technology. These are just some of the concerns facing operators who want LTE to take off that have emerged from the conference thus far:

Roaming: managing the plethora of frequencies

Network optimization: how to prioritize and manage network access technologies including WiFi and femtocell

ROI and data monetization: what services are there, what is the relationship with OTT and what value add exists for them?

VoIP: how to make it a real opportunity

The good news is that these concerns are all fairly common and ubiquitous all over the world. And the technical expertise is in place to help bring it to life. This expertise is even being recognized in awards ceremonies –  we won best contribution to research and development for LTE in the LTE Awards for example.

Yet, delays still abound, and people wonder why. So, over to you, digital savvy reader. What do you think needs to happen for LTE to become as integral as electricity or broadband?

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