Is 4G LTE Advanced Different From LTE?

4G LTE-A, which is currently being rolled out across the country now by major public network carriers like Verizon Wireless, is making download speeds 3X what is offered by standard LTE a reality. Top manufacturers like Sierra Wireless and CradlePoint already have LTE-A radios available in select versions of their gateways and routers like the MP70 and the AER1600-LP6.

How Does LTE Advanced Work?

In essence, while standard 3G data connections use one antenna and one signal at any given time, 4G LTE-A uses multiple signals and multiples antennas.

It uses MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technologies to combine multiple antennas on both the transmitter (for example 4G masts) and the receiver (for example the LTE-A radio installed in your fleet vehicle with two 4G antennas attached). So a 2×2 MIMO configuration means faster speeds as the data will transit more efficiently.

This functionality is then amplified with the new technology of ‘carrier aggregation’, which allows an LTE-A router to receive multiple different 4G signals at once. For example, one device can receive an 1800MHz and an 800MHz signal at the same time. This impacts data transmission efficiency and results in faster data downloads. Up to five different signals can be combined at once and with each offering up to 20MHz of bandwidth they can be combined to create a theoretical broadband pipe of up to 100MHz of bandwidth. Who would have guessed that the world where the Ethernet port puts a chokehold on your wireless data transmission? High bandwidth applications are the clear winners here.

Is A New Antenna Required For LTE Advanced?

Each public network carrier’s LTE-A offering will incorporate different bands, and it is true that the bands available on many antennas that are not optimized for LTE-A will need to be upgraded to deliver the full speeds that this enhanced network can deliver. Consult with your USAT sales representative to find the antenna that will work best for your deployment. In addition reference this table that shows LTE bands and the frequencies that they utilize to make sure your antenna is properly equipped. The bands that are bolded are not common and we have a few antennas that could cover them.

 

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