Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the future. While you were in bed this morning, dreaming of Konnie Huq running in slow motion in the snow, LG was hard at work in Korea (where it’s midday when it’s 3am here) putting ridiculously futuristic technology on a mobile phone chip.
The tech is called LTE, which (doesn’t really) stand for “the Long Term Evolution of 3GPP”. It’s basically the plans that the 3rd Generation Partnership Project has for the future of 3G and cellular broadband in general. Some people refer to it as 4G.
So what does it do? Well, the headline statistic is that it can deliver wireless download speeds of 60Mbps and upload speeds of 20Mbps. That’s nearly eight times faster than the speediest phones you can currently get, which use 3.5G HSDPA tech to shove data down the pipe at a maximum speed of 7.6Mbps.
And stepping back into the real world, having those kinds of download speeds in your phone will let people download music in milliseconds, and movies in less than a minute. LG reckons that LTE will let people stream four simultaneous HD movies, with no buffering. That’s pretty impressive.
Obviously, the chip is the important starting point for a viable 4G handset. LTE is competing with WiMAX for being the dominant 4G technology. WiMAX has been popular in Europe and the States, but LTE has bagged Asia. Given Asia’s massive telecoms market, It seems like LTE will win the day. To that end, several North American and European operators are already trialling LTE tech.
What kind of timescales are we talking about? Well, now that there’s a chip in existence, a commercially viable handset is possible. However, given the lag-time between technology appearing in the market in Japan and arriving on these shores, we’re probably talking about several years’ before you can pick one up in the Carphone Warehouse.
Basically, don’t sell your iPhone 3G just yet, but I wouldn’t recommend buying the 3G-lacking Curve 9800, either.
(via Akihabara News)