It seems as though 3G just arrived, but, in reality, 3G is over 10 years old. Meanwhile, 4G is now on the way in the form of both Mobile WiMAX and Long Term Evolution (LTE) systems and technologies. This session will review the key 3G technologies now available, and frame the advances embodied in 4G. We'll also discuss the definition of 4G - which is still the subject of some debate - and rollout plans. Lastly, we will explore what may be a key battle shaping up between Mobile WiMAX and LTE.
Will WiMAX and LTE, the two main flavors of future 4G networks be able to peacefully co-exist? Yes, but by living next to each other on consumer electronics products rather than by joining hands through standards groups, according to panelists at Interop.
Intel has already sent chips to laptop makers supporting both sorts of 4G networks, pointed out multiple members of a 4G panel held in New York City today. Ericsson has done likewise, with dual support 4G chips geared to use in a variety of devices, pointed out Sten Andersson, Ericsson's VP of wireless strategy for North America.
Beyond laptops and phones, 4G support will show up in digital cameras, camcorders, smartphones, and just about every other type of consumer device, according to the panelists.
Increasingly, these devices will be supporting Wi-Fi, too, in addition to WiMAX -- a 4G technology now being adopted by Sprint Nextel, Clearwire, and NextWave, among others -- and LTE, an alternative 4G technology embraced by Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
In early implementations, 4G is already supporting speeds of more than 3 Mbps on the downlink and 1 Mbps on the uplink.