So You Think You Want LTE

Shared on July 06, 2012 written by USAT Corp.

Many of USAT's critical infrastructure clients have shown interest in their options for the LTE network. In some cases the bandwidth advantages of the LTE network will bring significant improvements to our clients' business applications, and expand the feasibility of using the public networks for connectivity. In other business cases, the advantages that LTE brings to the table are few.

Below find a break-out that addresses how LTE benefits some of our clientele, but not all. It behooves us to start with the most significant factor about VZW LTE that is not likely to be found marketing materials or stated in advertisements:
Static IPs are NOT OFFERED by VZW for LTE at this time. Verizon Wireless anticipates availability in Q4 2011. Until this situation changes, USAT's critical infrastructure clients with VPN requirements will need to wait for Static IPs to become available for the LTE network.

LTE offers significant improvement in bandwidth. For bandwidth-intensive applications, like streaming video, LTE delivers better video quality. Instead of the jerky, low-resolution experience that are commonplace using EVDO Rev A as the backhaul, clients can now expect smooth full-motion video over the LTE network. (Expert advice: make sure that your airtime data plan has been chosen to accommodate the data that video will consume) or your next bill will show overage penalties that hit your project budget in unwelcome ways).

LTE offers lower latency. Low latency is a requirement for certain supervisory control applications, and LTE's improvements over the latency inherent in EVDO Rev A will make LTE a viable solution for more control automation scenarios where response time is critical.

LTE offers coverage which is less pervasive than VZW CDMA network. For many of USAT's clients engaged in remote monitoring and data acquisition activities, the amount of data being passed over the network is quite small, and the coverage foot-prints are more important than network speeds. VZW is rolling out LTE very quickly, but it will still take years for LTE to roll across the VZW network footprint.

LTE offers very few network device options at this time. In fact, upon this writing only USB stick modems are available. USAT is offering a the Sierra Wireless GX400 device with an upgrade to LTE option available in the future, but until that option is made available and paid for, as extra fees will apply, the GX400 is running on 3G networks.

Keywords: Sierra Wireless, Sierra Wireless AirLink GX400

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