LTE: WiMax for Incumbent Carriers

You might have seen the news that Nortel was shifting more 4G wireless R&D into something called LTE- Long Term Evolution.

Up until recently, enterprises saw Nortel as championing WiMax as a "true broadband" solution for enterprise, with key technologies such as MIMO and OFDM coming from Nortel. WiMax really resonated with these customers:
- It has the right name which spells Internet economics
- It has the right name which spells IP-optimized application performance;
- It operates in both licensed and unlicensed bands;
- It was being integrated into handhelds, thanks to the likes of Intel;
- It was going to be offered soon by wireless service providers like Sprint and possibly by cablecos and new operators; and
- It brings more competition to the wireless marketplace.
Nortel is still championing WiMax as a here-and-now opportunity and has partnered with Alvarion to strengthen its position.

So what about LTE?
- It has a dismal name (a name that would embarrass any marketer)
- It is another 4G technologies that will deliver IP-optimized application performance, and can be even faster than WiMax;
- It is based on MIMO and OFDM technologies that were largely invented by Nortel;
- It operates only in the licensed band;
- It will also be integrated into handhelds; and
- It is in the plans of most major incumbent wireless service provider.

Basically, while WiMax is starting to be offered today by some service providers today, expect to see LTE as an offering from an incumbent wireless service provider near you (towards the end of the decade after the standards are finalized).

Both WiMax and LTE are 4G technologies that will deliver the "true broadband" mobile experience to enterprise users (and consumers).

Together with 802.11n, the 100+Mbps WiFi draft standard, these 4G wireless solutions will deliver on Nortel's Unwired Enterprise vision.

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