Sorry, LTE compatibility in the United States far

BARCELONA, Spain - Here's the good news: the U.S. wireless industry works to ensure that you will eventually be able to take your LTE compatible phone from one carrier to another and get the same experience.

The bad news: it probably will not happen for a few years.

This is a function of T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray, who spoke to CNET in an interview at the Mobile World Congress. Ray said that the industry is keen on phones that can run on different media, but there is a lot of complexities. The advent of 4G LTE was supposed to unify the industry, bringing together the factions that have spent years in their respective camps, technology, or CDMA and GSM. This was a big hurdle, especially countries such as the United States and China. United States, for example, phones can move between AT & T and T-Mobile USA, but does not work on Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel.

But along with the rise of a common technology in LTE is a new problem: the fragmentation of the spectrum. Due to the lack of coherent bands, each carrier has built their networks using spectrum compatible. AT & T and Verizon operates on the same frequency, 700 MHz, but in different parts of the band and can not work with each other. T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel are each using their own different bands.

The industry is already doing a lot of work to treat complications. Qualcomm told CNET that it will solve the problem of homelessness 4G LTE this year by introducing a chipset that can operate on multiple frequencies. CNET broke the story that Verizon has international roaming partners for its 4G LTE network next year.

Thus, while there has been progress on the side of the chip, there is a problem with the radios and how they can effectively manage groups, said Ray. It was added, there was further complications handling both low and high bands of frequency.

Another wrinkle: additional frequencies that will eventually be made available to the wireless industry, which adds even more new frequencies. This is in addition to the different bands of spectrum held by AT & T and dishes. Thus, achieving interoperability is like hitting a moving target.

Verizon has said that if she can have agreements in place next year, it will take some time for phones that are compatible with certain frequencies to hit the market.

There seems to be more of a boost for carriers to work with international carriers that their domestic competitors. Carriers, of course, have an interest in what the customer locked in its network, so the idea of ​​interoperability can not be high on the list.

The incompatibility existing network, in turn, means that these devices can not work together anyway if a connection 4G LTE is not available.

Ray, who is also president of the trade group America 4G, said he is a big believer of mobile consumers. Indeed, T-Mobile has pushed for AT & T iPhone rolled onto its support. But in many markets, iPhones fall splendor connection to a slower speed due to the incompatibility of the spectrum. Only in certain markets T-Mobile and AT & T-compatible HSPA + bands, a fast network, they both call 4G. But iPhone 5 on AT & T LTE is not with T-Mobile.

How long will it be addressed depends largely on the speed with which the industry is the new frequency bands to use. Ray said he believes this is an important issue.

"Ultimately, this problem needs to be corrected," he said.
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