What is Long Term Evolution (LTE)?

Of all the confusing technology terms used in consumer marketing today, perhaps the most misty is “4G LTE,” used to describe a new, much faster generation of cellular data on smartphones, tablets and other devices. It sounds simple, but there are many varieties of 4G and conflicting claims.

It’s faster and downloads more pictures, lets consumers watch movies anytime and video chat on-the-go.
Everyone has heard these claims before, but not everyone is sure what exactly 4G LTE means.

By Tongai Mwenje

Understanding 4G facts and terminology can take some time. To help uncover the mystery that is 4G LTE, below is a quick briefing on what it is and how it applies in day-to-day life.

The term 4G LTE is really two terms. 4G means the fourth generation of data technology for cellular networks ̶ following 3G, the third generation. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is short for a very technical process for high-speed data for phones and other mobile devices. Together, they make 4G LTE ̶ the fastest 4G service available today.

Local mobile network providers such as Econet, NetOne and Africom have since rolled out the latest technology in the country. The only challenge so far is the coverage; very few areas across the country are enjoying this fastest technology.

Being the fastest network available means download speeds four to five times faster than 3G networks, which rivals some home broadband connections. The real hook, though, is the fact that consumers don’t have to be at home to appreciate these speeds. Consumers can access the internet wherever there is coverage with any 4G-enabled device, including smartphones, tablets and mobile hotspots.

LTE provides significantly increased peak data rates, with the potential for 100 Mbps downstream and 30 Mbps upstream, reduced latency, scalable bandwidth capacity, and backwards compatibility with existing GSM and UMTS technology.

The speed, then, is exactly why so many people are excited about 4G LTE. Cellular data is a part of many peoples’ lives and the ability to utilize and experience the internet in a quicker, richer way opens new possibilities for both business and personal lives.

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