updated 11:10 am EDT, Wed March 12, 2008
Ericsson 700MHz Gear
Swedish electronics giant Ericsson today revealed that it will already be set with technology that will support new 700MHz Internet access when it becomes an option in the US and elsewhere by 2009. The company says it is already developing chipsets that will natively use the upcoming Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard for extremely quick 4G Internet access; the new technology should allow download speeds up to 326Mbps on the carrier's end (20Mbps for each user) while still providing the advantages that come with the 700MHz airwaves, such as longer range and better signals when indoors.
An adaptation of HSPA access, which operates at 3G speeds of 7.2Mbps or less, is also underway for the newly opened frequency for carriers that want to use the 700MHz space without having to move to a whole new architecture, Ericsson says.
The LTE chipsets should be ready by mid-2009, though the company isn't prepared to speculate as to their actual deployment. Cellphone manufacturers (including itsown Sony-Ericsson partnership) will need to first implement the chipsets in shipping products and use them on active services. LTE is expected to form the basis of most American 4G wireless networks starting from 2009 and will be shared by both AT&T and Verizon as well as European providers such as Vodafone.