The current profusion of wireless cellphone standards makes one's brain ache. With the ostensible aim of helping users, carriers tend to use generic terms like 2G, 3G, or 4G (second-, third-, and fourth-generation). On a good day, however, most users only understand that 4G is better (faster) than 3G, which is better than 2G, and so forth.
If one is foolish enough to look under the hood, the result is a baffling morass of terms like GSM, FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, EDGA, and HSPA. I understand the way this came about, but I still tend to think it's so silly that it's such a pain to get one's cellphone to work in different parts of the world.
LTE, short for long-term evolution (like the next-generation LTE Advanced), is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It is anticipated to become the first truly global mobile phone standard. Having said this, the different LTE frequencies and bands used in different countries will mean that only multi-band phones will be able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported. Still, it's a huge step in the right direction.
In the evolution of wireless cellular standards, all paths eventually lead to some form of LTE or a WiMAX alternative.
(Source: Agilent Technologies)
I'm waffling on about this because MathWorks has introduced an LTE System Toolbox, which provides standard-compliant simulation, verification, and analysis of LTE and LTE Advanced wireless communication systems and devices.
LTE System Toolbox supports conformance testing and includes performance measures to verify compliance with standard specifications.
The new product is an extension to MATLAB and the Communications System Toolbox. It provides standard-compliant LTE (and LTE Advanced) golden reference models and test waveforms to help engineers tasked with designing and verifying wireless systems conforming to the LTE standard.
I cannot wait for the day when I can get good reception anywhere in America and in any other country I happen to visit -- hopefully while I'm still young enough to enjoy it. What say you? Would you care to share any frustrating experiences you've had with wireless cellular technologies?
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting