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IMT-Advanced or "4G" Technologies Under ITU Consideration

10/28/09 - "We are turning the page in the wireless industry as candidate proposals for true '4G' technologies, which will officially be named IMT-Advanced, are being submitted this week at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meeting in Geneva," stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the GSM family of technologies including LTE and a Market Representation Partner of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

The 3GPP Partners, which unite more than 370 leading mobile technology companies, made a formal submission to the ITU on October 7, proposing that Long Term Evolution ( LTE ) Release10 and beyond ( LTE-Advanced ) be evaluated as a candidate for IMT-Advanced .

"ITU-R (Radiocommunication Sector) is the recognized organization producing the official definition of Fourth Generation (4G) wireless systems called IMT-Advanced and as part of the 3GPP family of technologies, it is an exciting time to see that LTE-Advanced has been submitted," Pearson said.

3GPP addressed the IMT-Advanced requirements in a version of LTE, called LTE-Advanced or Evolved Universal Radio Access (E-UTRA), for which specifications could become available in 2011 through Release 10. Other technologies will apply as candidates for IMT-Advanced technologies, such as WiMAX in a version called Mobile WiMAX 2.0, to be specified in IEEE 802.16m.

It is expected to be mid to next decade before OFDMA -based systems like LTE have a large percentage of subscribers, and it could be well toward the end of the next decade before any IMT-Advanced system has a large subscriber base. Needless to say, vendors and operators will be looking at how to leverage and enhance current OFDMA systems like LTE and WiMAX to meet the requirements of IMT-Advanced and future demands of mobile broadband subscribers.

"Spectrum is the oxygen needed to fuel the successful deployment of LTE, so success is contingent upon operators worldwide obtaining more spectrum," Pearson added. "However, LTE will be launched in 2010 and 2011 to address the market needs over the next decade. Subsequently, operators may deploy IMT-Advanced '4G' networks using LTE-Advanced technology."

By Robert Hoskins

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