The latest LTE components support the LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) functions required to deliver high bandwidth up to 600 Mbit/s at one extreme and very low-power sub-1 Mbit/s for IoT/M2M applications at the other extreme. Highly integrated handset devices feature up to ten 64-bit processor cores and LTE-A modems, and the latest devices for LTE-A base stations integrate up to 64 64-bit cores with support for virtualized base stations and cloud RAM.
LTE is the world’s fastest-growing mobile networking technology. There are now more than 750 million LTE subscriptions worldwide, and more than 400 commercial LTE networks have been launched since 2010. Carriers are now upgrading their LTE networks to support LTE-A functionality, extend coverage and deploy new services including voice over LTE (VoLTE) and LTE broadcast (eMBMS). LTE-A covers a significant number of developments including carrier aggregation, improved spectral efficiency, higher-order MIMO and new categories of user equipment. The deployment of basic LTE-A functionality and further enhancements already planned will enable carriers to support handsets and other user devices with bandwidths of 300-600 Mbit/s and to connect low-power user devices including watches, smart meters and other appliances for IoT/M2M applications. The deployment of LTE-A will also help carriers switch off older, less efficient, 2G/3G networks and move towards the deployment of 5G services.