The assertion that a 3G basestation cell can support 4000 users, while an LTE cell can only support 600 is not entirely accurate and needs further clarification.
The number of users supported depends on the underlying data rate required by those users, and that in turn is a function of the bits/second/Hz efficiency of the underlying modulation (i.e. 64QAM vs QPSK).
Due to higher rate modulation schemes, multiple MIMO choices that allow more error-free reception, as well as higher channel bandwidths, LTE should be able to pack a lot more users than 3G.
What the analyst may be referring to is that if you deploy LTE in the 2.6GHz band, and compare that to 3G in the 850 or 1900MHz bands, the LTE cell size looks smaller. But this is due to penetration and coverage limitations of the higher frequency, and is obviously not a valid apples-to-apples comparison.
The analyst comment that "the vast majority of data traffic is handled by standard 2G/3G basestations......."
- is true, because it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 years for a wireless standard to become pervasive in the marketplace. The commercial LTE trials and deployments of the Teliasoneras and Verizons and NTTs in the developed markets have started the clock, and a whole industry is now starting to get switched on.
I would go further and say that the "battle" between WiMax at LTE isn't a battle at all. Here in the U.S., WiMax is already deployed by Sprint/Clearwire and has lots of users, while LTE is coming soon we are told.
The fact that the two largest U.S. carriers have chosen LTE makes that technology a pretty solid bet, but it doesn't mean WiMax can't co-exist with LTE or that millions of WiMax users will somehow be forced to switch.
"How much more speed do we need"? Lots more! The wireless carriers would love to give us all a reason to cut the DSL or Cable Modem cord, and even the speeds of those wired connections keep going up...and we broadband consumers find a way to use as much bandwidth as they will give us.
I don't think the battle among the WiMax and LTE will be own only by any one technology. As mentioned in the article even LTE has got its own disadvantages to deliver the broadband speeds over the mobile. WiMax is already used in the wireless home internet purpose in many countries. The important fact is still 80% of the data traffic is going through EDGE and 3G base stations. Any one can guess what is next to LTE. How much more speed do we need ...
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
Brought to you by