LTE is an abbreviation for Long Term Evolution and is a mobile radio communication technique operating in the licensed frequency band. It is a widely adapted standard for high-capacity radio communication in mobile telecommunication networks. It is used in a vast range of devices such as mobile phones and broadband routers for offices.


Standard and compatibility

LTE is a standard developed by 3GPP, an umbrella organization working with standardization for mobile telecommunication networks. It was a result of a project that was supposed to expand the mobile standard UMTS to offer increased bandwidth and an easier technique for mobile broadband applications. The first version was included in 3GPP Release 8 and at that time it did not fulfil the requirements of being a 4G technology. It has since than been further developed with the introduction of LTE-Advanced in 2011. The LTE technology essentially provides a high-capacity radio communication that can serve demanding applications such as video, streaming and large data transfers. There are no limitations on what protocols to use for different purposes and applications.

Technical performance

The key feature of LTE is its bandwidth. It is still the fastest and most commercially spread technology for data communication in mobile telecommunication networks. The high bandwidth makes LTE more expensive and power demanding, which implies that it is unsuitable for battery operated devices that requires long lifetime.

As with all telecommunication radio technologies LTE performance is dependent on the overall quality and capacity of the service provider and damping of the signal caused by physical objects between sender and receiver. Compared to NB-IoT, LTE has significantly lower penetration. As most European mobile phones use LTE, service providers coverage and the technology’s ability for indoor penetration is usually quite known among the public.

Suitable applications

LTE is suitable for applications that require high-speed data rates, high scalability, low latency, and low energy consumption. Applications that benefit from these qualities are, for instance, mobile broadband and IoT-devices. Additionally, LTE can be used for enhanced call performance, which is called Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

Elvaco LTE gateways

Considering technology price point and power consumption, LTE is mainly suitable for gateway products. That is products enabling a network interface to several other products which could be for example meters and sensors. It is important to also include the network provider in the equation when looking at suitableness to assure that service level is adequate, especially in more rural areas.

Elvaco has developed an M-Bus metering gateway for mobile networks that supports LTE communication, the CMe2100 LTE. It is equipped with an IR interface which enables communication with other Elvaco products. LTE is especially suitable as a telecommunication for smart metering since it can provide reliable and efficient communication between many devices.

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