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LTE (Long Term Evolution)



LTE (Long Term Evolution) is, according to many, the only "true" 4G technology. "4G" is now used by carriers and handset manufacturers to describe a host of data transmission technologies, including HSPA. Many of those technologies, however, only meet some of the basic criteria for the 4G designations, and all are outperformed by LTE. That said, even LTE does not meet all of the standards set forth by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project). 

LTE is a successor to HSPA (and, before that, WCDMA), built on the CDMA network architecture. Currently CDMA is utilized only by the Verizon and Sprint networks, and thus LTE is only offered by those carriers. Peak theoretical data rates for the technology top out just below a staggering 300Mbit/s for download, but current offerings feature peak rates between 5 and 20Mbit/s. 


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