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Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based services are garnering a lot of attention in the mobile broadband industry, despite the fact that they are at least two years away from being deployed.

LTE, considered by many analysts to be the next big wave in 4G wireless technology, is due to be launched commercially in 2010 by Verizon and AT&T, roughly two years after the Clearwire coalition’s big commercial WiMAXlaunch slated for later this year.

Technically speaking, LTE is a modulation technique that is the latest variation of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology. Its developers at the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) dubbed it “Long Term Evolution” because they view it as the natural progression of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), theGSM technology that is currently used by carriers such as AT&T to deliver 3G mobile broadband.

GSM is by far the dominant mobile standard worldwide, with more the 2 billion global customers. In the United States, however, the only carriers that currently use GSM are AT&T and T-Mobile. Carriers Verizon and Sprint both use the rival Code Division for Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, although Verizon is due to move over to the GSM side when it launches its own LTE network sometime in 2010.

While it is far too early to predict how successful LTE will be in the enterprise market, recent trends indicate that demand for the technology could get a significant boost as businesses demand ever-faster mobile broadband access. For instance, a recent survey conducted by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey reports that nearly half of all enterprises currently use 3G cellular services, and that more than one-third plan on using WiMAX technology within the next year.

The major reasons for deploying mobile enterprise applications, the survey finds, include increased employee productivity and increased employee availability, as more than 80% of corporate users list both of them as key reasons for using more mobile technologies. If demand for increased mobile broadband speeds continues to be strong, LTE could be in a good position to compete with WiMAX as a widely deployed mobile broadband standardwhen it comes to market in 2010.

Check out the whole article here.


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