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Our online glossary is here to help you make sense of the terminology used in the cell phone industry. It covers mobile technologies, such as 3G and 4G, and even includes a bit of information on smartphone operating systems and the companies that make the cell phones and other mobile technology devices we all use.

What is "LTE"?

LTE, short for Long Term Evolution, is considered by many to be the obvious successor to the current generation of UMTS 3G technology, which is based upon WCDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, and HSPA. LTE is not a replacement for UMTS in the way that UMTS was a replacement for GSM, but rather an update to the UMTS technology that will enable it to provide significantly faster data rates for both uploading and downloading. Verizon Wireless was the first U.S. carrier to widely deploy LTE, though MetroPCS and AT&T have also done so, and Sprint and T-Mobile USA both have plans for LTE. In fact, Sprint is phasing out its WiMAX network in favor of LTE. Verizon Wireless and AT&T currently have incompatible LTE networks, even though they both make use of 700MHz spectrum. AT&T and Verizon Wireless LTE customers often see download speeds that exceed 15Mbps, and upload speeds in the 10Mbps range.

Also known as: "Long Term Evolution"

See Also: 3G, WCDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA, UMTS, GSM, WiMAX, Verizon Wireless

Referred to by: 3GPP, 4G, LightSquared, Verizon Wireless, WiMAX

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