Source: Telephony Online
Despite its name, long-term evolution is on the horizon, but UMTS operators apparently aren't willing to wait. Telstra and 3 Scandinavia are already deploying evolved high-speed packet access, the next step in the UMTS evolutionary chain, to give them an added capacity boost over their existing networks. Even more operators, including AT&T Mobility and Vodafone, have it in their technology road maps. But with Verizon Wireless revealing its plans to launch LTE as soon as 2009, commercial 4G networks may be taking off just as UMTS operators are completing their E-HSPA upgrades. So why bother?
Dan Warren, director of technology for the GSM Association, said those operators aren't ignoring LTE. There is a fairly large consensus in the industry that LTE is the future, he said, but each operator is in a different set of circumstances that dictates how urgently they need to deploy it. “You can find the extremely aggressive and the extremely reticent, and then you have everything in between,” Warren said. He likened the path to 4G to traversing an island: You can follow the roads hugging the shore or plow through the jungle in the middle.