Recently we’ve received quite a few inquiries about why Rogers is only announcing 4G/LTE coming soon while Bell and Telus are already touting the fact that they have 4G in place across the country.
The truth of the matter is Rogers, Bell and Telus all have the same capabilities for the time being. Recently the standards set by the International Telecoms Union were lowered setting the previous 4G benchmark of LTE to the same as “advanced 3G” which is technically any HSPA network with speeds greater than 3Mbps. Based on this interpretation, all Canadian carriers have 4G networks.
Rogers has taken the stance of not confusing the masses by renaming it’s current HSPA+ network to 4G like Bell and Telus have and have recently announced the development of their own LTE network which will be the true 4G experience.
The biggest problem in this whole issue is the use of the names 4G and LTE. Everyone believes 4G to be the next fastest wireless service when infact it is called LTE.
LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. It was first described as the intermediate step between 3G and 4G (4G used to have the standards set at 1Gbit/s transfer rates) so LTE was anything faster than the current HSPA+ networks but could not reach that 1Gbit/s transfer speed.
Now since standards have been changed and the definitions have been redefined, anything with 3mbps speed and faster can now be called 4G meaning that LTE is still the next logical step ABOVE 4G since 4G is essentially the same as HSPA+.
But why do we need LTE? LTE promises speeds reaching up to the 1Gbit/s that were once required for 4G classification. The truth of the matter is LTE is still being developed. It is in no way a mature network that can be fully harnessed yet. There have been tests that show speeds reaching well over 100MB/s using LTE technology and that was stated at less that it’s optimal performance.
Imagine, a world where cell phones can harness LTE technology and receive data rates faster than at home connections? This is the MAIN goal with LTE. They hope to create this insanely fast network and learn to harness it all by having both Voice communications AND Data communications all over this one network (unlike how now it is split into 2 networks one allowing voice and the other allowing data).
So despite carriers claiming they have 4G networks and that they are currently at the head of the game, we have to look deeper into what the meanings behind them really are.
Whether LTE ever really lives up to the hype it’s getting we’ll have to wait and see, who knows, it may end up being umbrellaed under the name 5G, but either way, the future looks fast…