Long-Term Evolution wireless broadband technology for smartphones and mobile devices is designed specifically to support IP-based services. Major cellular carriers are currently rolling out the technology and the Federal Communications Commission has designated it as the standard for a national public-safety network.
Ken Rehbehn, principal analyst for Yankee Group Research, says LTE provides several key innovations for public-safety agencies:
- Bandwidth: With an LTE-enabled system, public-safety agencies have access to a larger data highway lane than ever before. While most traditional cell-tower–enabled data cards allow for a maximum of about 1.25 megahertz of capacity, LTE currently provides up to 10MHz of spectrum (a number that will be 20MHz in the near future), enabling lightning-fast transmission of high-bandwidth data and streaming video.
- Latency:The efficient IP-based radio network reduces latency, helping to boost responsiveness. Low latency aids deployment of two-way video applications.
- Efficiency: LTE relies on a radio signal known as Orthogonal Frequency Division and Multiplexing, which allows for much more efficient downloads of data transmission within an assigned frequency band, without losing resilience because of interference and reflections.