updated 12:55 am EST, Sat February 12, 2011
Delivers theoretical 1Gbps downlink, 200Mbps up
Japan's DOCOMO mobile network has announced that it has begun field testing a development of LTE technology LTE-Advanced. LTE-Advanced is a 4G mobile network technology that is up to six-times faster than standard LTE networks. A recent field test by the South Korean government's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) showed the new standard achieving astonishing downlink speeds in real-world tests peaking at 600Mbps.
DOCOMO has already confirmed the performance of LTE-Advanced technologies using radio environment simulators in its R&D center, achieving transmission data rates of approximately 1Gbps in the downlink and 200Mbps in the uplink.
Standardization of LTE-Advanced is currently being finalized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). In October 2010, LTE-Advanced was accepted by the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) as a technology compliant with the requirements of IMT-Advanced.
The technology is backward compatible with current LTE networks. However, it is not likely to being widespread roll-outs until at least 2014. A single-chip LTE-Advanced design that can be incorporated into mobile phones is expected to delivered in around three years. America's major carriers including AT&T and Verizon are expected to have completed their roll-outs of LTE networks by that point, making the upgrade path to LTE-Advanced quicker and easier than the current transition from 3G to 4G.