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Fresh LTE Perspectives from Altair

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Caveat Emptor

Feb 27, 2011

What’s in a name?

Well, for some things, a name is everything, especially when it comes to marketing. Here’s an example.

For other areas, it doesn’t really matter.  Show me an unusually gifted athlete with a strange name and I’ll show you someone capable of making a lot of money (editor’s note: can’t link to a page because the names are too inappropriate for this blog.  But just Google “worst athlete names” and you’ll see what I mean.).

Putting names aside for a bit, we all know that the telecom industry has always been highly competitive – well, at least since the Telecom Act of 1996.  But due to that competition, the industry has also always danced a dangerous dance – the dance of “speeds and feeds.”

How fast can the call go through?

How much data can be sent per second?

And all telecom players, no matter how creative they want to be, have at least to a certain degree bought into the “arms race” approach.

First, we learned about bytes, then kilobytes, then megabytes, gigabits and terabytes, and now petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes, and yottabytes.

All because we had to have terms to explain how much data would be included in something.

At the recent Mobile World Congress, we had the opportunity to see how the various players were describing their 4G offerings.  And we saw something fascinating …

Today, 4G = LTE.

Companies at MWC weren’t touting the latest in 4G devices.  They were talking about LTE devices.

And that’s the case on the web as well.

The fact is that the 4G definition isn’t as clear as it used to be.  So the manufacturers and carriers are taking matters into their own hands by using LTE in place of 4G, since LTE is the fastest of the technologies included in this new 4G definition.

Some will likely try to use 4G, even though their speeds don’t approach the LTE levels.

So buyer beware

From here on out, it’s not about 4G.  It’s about LTE.

-Eran Eshed

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