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LTE Advanced will introduce faster and better networks, as well as bigger phones

News by Andrew Kameka on Friday February 08, 2013.

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The first wave of LTE smartphones were noticeably thicker and battery-intensive than the smartphones most popular at the time, and early signs suggest that the same dynamic will occur when LTE-Advanced is available to consumers.

LTE Advanced is an improvement over the 4G LTE setups currently rolling-out on all of the major carriers in the United States. It combines the data from multiple frequencies under a process known as "carrier aggregation" that can create networks with better coverage and data speeds. The system is in its early stages in Russia, and AT&T plans to begin testing later this year.

The potential downside to LTE Advanced is that the first capable devices will need batteries with higher capacity, and the devices will be designed to have several antennas. The MIT Technology Review points out that without advancements in mobile battery technology or significant reduction in power consumption, phones running LTE Advanced will simply have to be bigger. The prospect of larger phones seems ridiculous, though some may see it as inconsequential, at a time when 5-inch screens are quickly becoming a standard and some manufacturers are pushing for 6.1-inch displays. At the right phone sizes are increasing, what's a few extra millimeters between friends?

There's cause for optimism despite history. When LTE debuted in the United States, the first LTE-capable phones were bulky because they had to have legacy radios and the engineering of the phones had not advanced enough to embrace the new technology without making the device larger. The Technology Review says LTE Advanced could be a different story because the industry is focused on reducing size and costs to make the new network technology feasible. If most of the important players anticipate the same needs and follow a similar path towards that goal, it could go a long way towards improving the engineering capabilities of smartphones before LTE Advanced is deployed commercially.

source: Technology Review, via: BGR

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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