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Swindon embraces 4th generation

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Motorola, the bit that makes money selling networks rather than the handset division that loses money making phones, has been testing 4th generation networks in Swindon, demonstrating calls over Long Term Evolution (LTE) connections.

The Swindon-based lab demonstrated voice calls and data streaming using the LTE standard, operating at 2.6GHz - a frequency that should come onto the UK market later this year.

LTE is the next generation of GSM, following on from W-CDMA which was commonly known as 3G. This is the technology that will connect the next generation of mobile phones and computers, despite attempts from the WiMAX crowd to get their technology integrated into the GSM process - incumbent network operators are wholeheartedly endorsing LTE around the world.

Not only is LTE happy to operate in a wide range of frequencies, but the standard also enables connections to broaden the radio band they are using. This allows potentially breathtaking speeds, assuming no one nearby wants any bandwidth.

The technology has been demonstrated before but the installation in Swindon is more of a test-bed to allow network operators to come along and see how their infrastructure will integrate with the next generation of radio interface, ahead of Motorola launching commercial LTE products in 2.6GHz and 700MHz later this year. ®

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