LTE timeline

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The LTE project was designed to achieve a 4G wireless data communications standard.

3GPP standard development timeline[edit]

  • In 2004 NTT DoCoMo of Japan proposes LTE as the international standard.[1]
  • In September 2006, Siemens Networks (today Nokia Siemens Networks) showed in collaboration with Nomor Research the first live emulation of an LTE network to the media and investors. As live applications two users streaming an HDTV video in the downlink and playing an interactive game in the uplink have been demonstrated.[2]
  • The first presentation of an LTE demonstrator with HDTV streaming (>30 Mbit/s), video supervision and Mobile IP-based handover between the LTE radio demonstrator and the commercially available HSDPA radio system was shown during the ITU trade fair in Hong Kong in December 2006 by Siemens Communication Department.
  • In February 2007, Ericsson demonstrated for the first time in the world LTE with bit rates up to 144 Mbit/s[3]
  • In September 2007, NTT docomo demonstrated LTE data rates of 200 Mbit/s with power level below 100 mW during the test.[4]
  • In November 2007, Infineon presented the world’s first RF transceiver named SMARTi LTE supporting LTE functionality in a single-chip RF silicon processed in CMOS [5][6]
  • In early 2008 LTE test equipment began shipping from several vendors and, at the Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona, Ericsson demonstrated the world’s first end-to-end mobile call enabled by LTE on a small handheld device.[7] Motorola demonstrated an LTE RAN standard compliant eNodeB and LTE chipset at the same event.
  • At the February 2008 Mobile World Congress:
    • Huawei demonstrated LTE applications by means of multiplex HDTV services and mutual gaming that has transmission speeds of 100 Mbit/s.
    • Motorola demonstrated how LTE can accelerate the delivery of personal media experience with HD video demo streaming, HD video blogging, Online gaming and VoIP over LTE running a RAN standard compliant LTE network & LTE chipset.[8]
    • Ericsson EMP (now ST-Ericsson) demonstrated the world’s first end-to-end LTE call on handheld[7] Ericsson demonstrated LTE FDD and TDD mode on the same base station platform.
    • Freescale Semiconductor demonstrated streaming HD video with peak data rates of 96 Mbit/s downlink and 86 Mbit/s uplink.[9]
    • NXP Semiconductors (now a part of ST-Ericsson) demonstrated a multi-mode LTE modem as the basis for a software-defined radio system for use in cellphones.[10]
    • picoChip and Mimoon demonstrated a base station reference design. This runs on a common hardware platform (multi-mode / software defined radio) with their WiMAX architecture.[11]
  • In April 2008, Motorola demonstrated the first EV-DO to LTE hand-off – handing over a streaming video from LTE to a commercial EV-DO network and back to LTE.[12]
  • In April 2008, LG Electronics and Nortel demonstrated LTE data rates of 50 Mbit/s while travelling at 110 km/h.[13]
  • In April 2008 Ericsson unveiled its M700 mobile platform, the world’s first commercially available LTE-capable platform, with peak data rates of up to 100 Mbit/s in the downlink and up to 50 Mbit/s in the uplink. The first products based on M700 will be data devices such as laptop modems, Expresscards and USB modems for notebooks, as well other small-form modems suitable for consumer electronic devices. Commercial release was set for 2009, with products based on the platform expected in 2010.
  • In November 2008 Motorola demonstrated industry first over-the-air LTE session in 700 MHz spectrum.[14]
  • Researchers at Nokia Siemens Networks and Heinrich Hertz Institut have demonstrated LTE with 100 Mbit/s Uplink transfer speeds.[15]
  • In December 2008 the "Rel-8" specification was frozen for new features, meaning only essential clarifications and corrections were permitted.
  • In January 2009 The ASN.1 code was frozen. The Rel-8 standard was complete enough that hardware designers had been designing chipsets, test equipment, and base stations for some time. LTE standards development continues with 3GPP Release 9, which was frozen in December 2009. Updates to all 3GPP specifications are made every quarter and can be found at the 3GPP web site.
  • At the February 2009 Mobile World Congress:
    • Huawei demonstrated the world's first unified frequency-division duplex and time-division duplex (FDD/TDD) LTE solution.
    • Aricent gave a demonstration of LTE eNodeB layer2 stacks.
    • Setcom streaming a Video [16]
    • Infineon demonstrated a single-chip 65 nm CMOS RF transceiver providing 2G/3G/LTE functionality[17]
    • Launch of ng Connect program, a multi-industry consortium founded by Alcatel-Lucent to identify and develop wireless broadband applications.[18]
    • Motorola provided LTE drive tour on the streets of Barcelona to demonstrate LTE system performance in a real-life metropolitan RF environment [19]
  • In July 2009 Nujira demonstrated efficiencies of more than 60% for an 880 MHz LTE Power Amplifier[20]
  • In August 2009, Nortel and LG Electronics demonstrated the first successful handoff between CDMA and LTE networks in a standards-compliant manner [21]
  • In August 2009, Alcatel-Lucent receives FCC certification for LTE base stations for the 700 MHz spectrum band.[22]
  • In September 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks demonstrated world's first LTE call on standards-compliant commercial software.[23]
  • In October 2009, Ericsson and Samsung demonstrated interoperability between the first ever commercial LTE device and the live network in Stockholm, Sweden.[24]
  • In October 2009, Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institut and antenna supplier Kathrein conducted live field tests of a technology called Coordinated Multipoint Transmission (CoMP) aimed at increasing the data transmission speeds of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 3G networks.[25]
  • In November 2009, Alcatel-Lucent completed first live LTE call using 800 MHz spectrum band set aside as part of the European Digital Dividend (EDD).[26]
  • In November 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks and LG completed first end-to-end interoperability testing of LTE.[27]
  • On December 14, 2009, the first commercial LTE deployment was in the Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo by the Swedish-Finnish network operator TeliaSonera and its Norwegian brandname NetCom (Norway). TeliaSonera incorrectly branded the network "4G". The modem devices on offer were manufactured by Samsung (dongle GT-B3710), and the network infrastructure with SingleRAN technology created by Huawei (in Oslo)[28] and Ericsson (in Stockholm). TeliaSonera plans to roll out nationwide LTE across Sweden, Norway and Finland.[29] TeliaSonera used spectral bandwidth of 10 MHz (out of the maximum 20 MHz), and Single-Input and Single-Output transmission. The deployment should have provided a physical layer net bitrates of up to 50 Mbit/s downlink and 25 Mbit/s in the uplink. Introductory tests showed a TCP goodput of 42.8 Mbit/s downlink and 5.3 Mbit/s uplink in Stockholm.[30]
  • In December 2009, ST-Ericsson and Ericsson first to achieve LTE and HSPA mobility with a multimode device.[31]
  • In January 2010, Alcatel-Lucent and LG complete a live handoff of an end-to-end data call between Long Term Evolution (LTE) and CDMA networks.[32]
  • In February 2010, Nokia Siemens Networks and Vodafone Italy complete the first LTE call in Italy. The test was undertaken with commercial hardware and software. During the call a throughput of about 70 Mbit/s downlink and 19 Mbit/s uplink have been reached.
  • In February 2010, Nokia Siemens Networks and Movistar test the LTE in Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, with both indoor and outdoor demonstrations.[33]
  • In May 2010, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) and Huawei showed an indoor LTE network at "Sviaz-Expocomm 2010" in Moscow, Russia.[34] MTS expects to start a trial LTE service in Moscow by the beginning of 2011. Earlier, MTS has received a license to build an LTE network in Uzbekistan, and intends to commence a test LTE network in Ukraine in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent.
  • At the Shanghai Expo 2010 in May 2010, Motorola demonstrated a live LTE in conjunction with China Mobile. This included video streams and a drive test system using TD-LTE.[35]
  • In August 2010, Alcatel-Lucent and Texas Energy Network, LLC (TEN), a new startup founded by Gregory M. Casey, former Executive Vice President at Qwest Communications, successfully tested an LTE base station working over a range of 12 km by simulating energy industry video and field operation activity. The tests were conducted within the Permian Basin, in the Artesian area of southeastern New Mexico.
  • As of 12/10/2010 DirecTV has teamed up with Verizon Wireless for a test of high-speed Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology in a few homes in Pennsylvania, designed to deliver an integrated Internet and TV bundle. Verizon Wireless said it launched LTE wireless services (for data, no voice) in 38 markets where more than 110 million Americans live on Sunday, Dec. 5.[36]
  • In March 2011, Release 10 specifying LTE Advanced was frozen.
  • On May 6, 2011, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel successfully demonstrated 4G LTE for the first time in South Asia, achieving a data rate of 96 Mbit/s in Sri Lanka.[37]

Carrier adoption timeline[edit]

Most carriers supporting GSM or HSUPA networks can be expected to upgrade their networks to LTE at some stage. A complete list of commercial contracts can be found at:[38]

  • In January 2009, TeliaSonera signed a contract for an LTE network with Huawei covering Oslo, Norway. Under the agreement, Huawei will provide an end-to-end LTE solution including LTE base stations, core network and OSS (Operating Support System). The Huawei contract was cancelled in January 2010 and a new contract was signed with Ericsson.
  • January 2009: Ericsson and TeliaSonera announced the signing of a commercial LTE network. The roll-out of the 4G mobile broadband network will offer the highest data rates ever realized, with the best interactivity and quality. This network will cover Sweden’s capital Stockholm and the contract is Ericsson’s first for commercial deployment of LTE.
  • August 2009: Telefónica selected six countries to field-test LTE in the succeeding months: Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic in Europe, and Brazil and Argentina in Latin America.[39]
  • On November 24, 2009: Telecom Italia announced the first outdoor pre-commercial experimentation in the world, deployed in Torino and totally integrated into the 2G/3G network currently in service.[40]
  • On December 14, 2009 the world's first publicly available LTE service was opened by TeliaSonera in the two Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo.
  • On February 10, 2010, AT&T U.S. announced its rollout of LTE service in 2011.
  • On March 18, 2010: Australian telecommunications carrier Telstra announced LTE trials lasting six months involving Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson and Siemens beginning in May 2010 [41]
  • On May 11, 2010, TeliaSonera, Telenor, and TDC Network announced an LTE network expected to be online in Denmark in 1Q 2011.
  • On May 28, 2010, Russian operator Scartel announced the launch of an LTE network in Kazan by the end of the 2010.[42]
  • On June 1, 2010, Thailand's National Telecommunications Commission announced it will hold an auction for LTE license to 3 mobile service providers in September 2010. LTE service will be online by 4Q 2010.
  • On June 1, 2010, Colombian Ministry of Information Technology assigned to UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones in the 2.500 MHz spectrum, the company expects to launch LTE services in September 2011.
  • On August 30, 2010, Scartel launched an LTE network in Kazan, but the LTE network was closed (shut down) on the next day because of license absence.
  • On August 30, 2010, Telekom Deutschland started LTE trial in Kyritz using 800 MHz frequency.[43]
  • On August 31, 2010, Kenya's Safaricom announced plans to roll out LTE technology within two months.
  • On September 7, 2010, Polish operators Centernet and Mobyland launched first commercial 20 MHz-wide LTE network using 1800 MHz frequency band (EUTRAN band 3).[44]
  • On September 2010, Nepal's first privately owned GSM mobile operator, Ncell-part of TeliaSonera, announced plans to roll out 4G service nationwide.
  • On September 15, 2010, Bernie McMonagle, a Verizon Wireless Senior federal sales executive, announced that Verizon plans to have their entire 3G footprint switched over to 4G, so all of their customers can take advantage of the faster speeds, by the end of 2013.[45]
  • On September 16, 2010, Verizon Wireless announced that its LTE network would roll out in 30 "National Football League Cities" in the United States before the end of 2010.[46]
  • On September 20, 2010, A1 launched LTE service in St. Pölten and Vienna on the 2.6 GHz frequency.[47]
  • On September 21, 2010, MetroPCS began to roll out its LTE network in Las Vegas, Nevada.[48]
  • On September 21, 2010, MetroPCS and Samsung launched the world's first LTE commercial mobile handset, the Samsung Craft.[49]
  • On September 29, 2010, MetroPCS rolled out LTE services in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.[50]
  • October 6, 2010: Verizon Wireless plans to launch LTE[51]
  • On October 6, 2010, Canadian provider Rogers Communications Inc announced that Ottawa, Canada's national capital, will be the site of LTE trials. Rogers said it will expand on this testing and move to a comprehensive technical trial of LTE on both low- and high-band frequencies across the Ottawa area.[52]
  • On October 26, 2010, Ericsson Nikola Tesla in cooperation with T-Mobile Croatia started testing the LTE network in Croatia.
  • On November 15, 2010, both Telenor and Tele2 launched their jointly built and owned LTE network in Sweden. Initially launched in the three biggest cities (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö) and Karlskrona. They promised a 99 percent population coverage in Sweden by the end of 2012 and a fast roll-out plan for 2011.[53][54]
  • On December 1, 2010, Telekom Deutschland started an LTE trial in Baden-Württemberg and Brandenburg using 800 MHz frequency.[43]
  • On December 1, 2010, Vodafone Germany started the commercial sale of LTE products especially for residents in the countryside.
  • On December 6, 2010, Verizon Wireless launched its 4G LTE network in 38 markets covering 100 million people in the United States, supporting "loaded" network download speeds of 5–12 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 2–5 Mbit/s.
  • On January 5, 2011, AT&T announced that it would be launching its 4G LTE network in the second half of 2011, with a goal of deployment being "largely complete" by the end of 2013.[55]
  • On January 6, 2011, Verizon Wireless announced that it plans to add more than 100 LTE markets to cover 175 million people by the end of 2011, have 2/3 of the US population covered by mid-2012, and provide nationwide coverage by the end of 2013.[56]
  • On February 15, 2011, Telstra Australia announced plans to launch 4G LTE service in all major central business districts in Australian capital cities by the end of 2011, effectively boosting the current Telstra Next G HSPA+ service.[57]
  • On March 3, 2011, four Russian telecom operators including Beeline (Vimpelcom), Megafon, MTS and Rostelecom agreed to join forces with Yota in developing an LTE network infrastructure. The efforts will be outsourced to Yota's underlying networking company, Scartel Telecom. Each of the four operators will have the option to buy a 20% share of the networking company by 2014 and Yota's share will be simultaneously reduced to 20% as well; this ensures that no operator will have preference with access the network.[58][59]
  • On March 23, 2011, Verizon Wireless promised LTE in 147 markets by the end of 2011[60]
  • On March 29, 2011, Verizon Wireless and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) announced that the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is available.[61]
  • On April 5, 2011, Telekom Deutschland started the commercial Sale of LTE products especially for residence in the countryside using 800 MHz frequency.
  • On May 6, 2011, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel successfully demonstrated 4G LTE for the first time in South Asia, achieving a data rate of 96 Mbit/s in Sri Lanka.[37]
  • On May 7, 2011, Sri Lankan mobile service provider Dialog Axiata switched on South Asia's first LTE network in Colombo with data rate of 110 Mbit/s.[62][63]
  • On May 7, 2011, Sri Lankan Mobile Operator Dialog Axiata PLC switched on the first pilot 4G LTE Network in South Asia with vendor partner Huawei and demonstrated a download data speed up to 127 Mbit/s.[64]
  • On May 24, 2011, Microsoft announced that the 7.5 version of Windows Phone (Codenamed "Mango") would ship on 4G handsets, including some with LTE chipsets.[65]
  • On July 1, 2011, O2 Germany started the commercial Sale of LTE products especially for residence in the countryside using 800 MHz frequency.[66]
  • On July 1, 2011, SK Telecom and LG U+ launched their 4G LTE network in Seoul, South Korea
  • On July 1, 2011, Telekom Deutschland launched their LTE service in Cologne using 1.8 GHz frequency.[67]
  • On July 7, 2011, Rogers Communications officially launched their LTE network in Ottawa, Canada.
  • On July 13, 2011, South African mobile operator, MTN, launched their test LTE network in five clusters covering parts of Sandton, Fourways, Centurion, around OR Tambo International Airport and in the vicinity of MTN head office in Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa.[68]
  • On July 28, 2011, Sprint Nextel and LightSquared announced a fifteen-year deal for Sprint to use LightSquared's LTE network; in return LightSquared will utilize Sprint Nextel's current 3G network in 2012.
  • On July 28, 2011, T-Mobile Austria launched their LTE network in four clusters covering parts of Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, Vienna using 2.6 GHz frequency.[69]
  • On September 14, 2011, Bell Canada launched LTE in Toronto and surrounding areas.
  • On September 18, AT&T Mobility launched their LTE service in 5 markets.[70][71]
  • On September 27, 2011, Telstra announces Australia's first 4G LTE network to be publicly available within some locations in New South Wales and Victoria.
  • On September 27, 2011: Sprint Nextel officially announced plans for LTE[72]
  • On September 28, 2011, Rogers Communications launched LTE service in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
  • On October 18, 2011, Vodafone Germany launched LTE service in Düsseldorf using 800 MHz frequency.[73]
  • On November 7, 2011, Swisscom started LTE trials in Davos, Grindelwald, Gstaad, Leukerbad, Montana, Saas Fee und St. Moritz/Celerina using 2.6 GHz frequency.[74]
  • On November 18, 2011, Hutchison 3 Austria launched LTE service in Vienna on the 2.6 GHz frequency.[75]
  • On December 20, 2011: Russian operator Yota announced the launch of an LTE network in Novosibirsk.[76]
  • In late 2012 and continuing through 2013, T-Mobile US began re-farming their current spectrum to support LTE on band IV and relocate a portion of their HSPA network to the PCS band.
  • On February 9, 2012, Telus Mobility launched their LTE service initial in metropolitan areas include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener, Waterloo, Hamilton, Guelph, Belleville, Ottawa, Montreal, Québec City, Halifax and Yellowknife.[77]
  • On February 16, 2012, Telekom Deutschland launched their LTE service in Frankfurt (Main) using 1.8 GHz frequency.[78]
  • On February 28, 2012, O2 Germany announced its rolloud of LTE service, which will introduce from 2. July 2012 in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden, Hanover, Leipzig, Nuremberg and the Rhine-Ruhr region.[79]
  • On April 9, 2012, StarHub Mobile announced its rolloud of LTE network is expected to go live by the end of 2012, covering key business areas such as the Singapore Changi Airport, Marina Bay, Suntec, and Shenton Way.[80]
  • On April 19, 2012, China Mobiles rolloud of LTE service will introduce in 4Q 2012.[81]
  • On April 22, 2012, Sprint Nextel made available the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, its first device with LTE radios, although its LTE network isn't schedule to be active until the second half of 2012, the launch of this smartphone makes it know that its LTE network is on track.
  • On April 24, 2012, Telekom Deutschland launched their LTE service in Bonn, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich using 1.8 GHz frequency.[82]
  • On April 26, 2012, Optus launches 4G network based on 1,8 GHz frequency across the Hunter region with coverage available in Greater Newcastle, Maitland, Port Stephens and areas in the Hunter Valley. Beside the launch Optus announced the rollout to capital cities, which will see 4G services delivered to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth from mid-2012. From the first half of next year the companies rollout will see an expansion of 4G services in Brisbane and Adelaide.[83]
  • On April 26, 2012, Telstra expands 4G mobile services in Newcastle including coverage to suburbs such as Broadmeadow, Callaghan, Georgetown, Jesmond, Kotara East, Lambton, Mayfield, Mayfield West, Waratah and Waratah West.[84]

Despite initial development of the rival UMB standard, which was designed as an upgrade path for CDMA networks, most operators of networks based upon the latter system have also announced their intent to migrate to LTE, resulting in discontinuation of UMB development.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel, MetroPCS,[89] Cricket Wireless, and LightSquared in the United States along with several worldwide carriers are building out LTE networks.

Some newcomers to the mobile phone market are or will be using LTE for their networks:

  • Cox Communications has its first tower for wireless LTE network build-out.[90] Wireless services should launch late 2009.
  • Zain KSA Telecom Company has announced its plans to "build the largest 4G network in the globe" when it signed on Sunday Feb. 14, 2010, at its HQ office, an agreement with three global giants in the provision of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE): Motorola, Ericsson and Huawei.The agreement covered the implementation of phase one of the 4G LTE covering 4 major cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Al-Khobar.[91]
  • Maxis Communications Malaysia is started testing LTE with its technology partners, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei in June 2010. They demonstrated an LTE connection with peak download speed of 60 and 104 Mbit/s, using both 10 MHz and 20 MHz bandwidth channels.[92]
  • Following Maxis Communications' announcement, rival telco Celcom Malaysia began LTE tests in September 2010. Huawei and Ericsson had won the contract to build the high speed next-generation mobile network throughout the country.[93] This has led to at least one local tabloid to note that the two competitors are engaged in a broadband arms race.[94]
  • Sprint Nextel owns a majority of Clearwire and the latter as of January 6, 2011 is testing LTE in Phoenix, Arizona.[95]
  • Estonian Mobile phone operator EMT has opened 4G service for public use based on LTE standard on December 16, 2010.[96]
  • In May 2011, mtc touch announced in Lebanon the development of 50 LTE sites across the country. In a few months it will be fully usable.[citation needed]
  • Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel (Mobitel (Sri Lanka)) announced testing of trial 4G LTE Network on April 30, 2011 and demonstrated on May 6, 2011.[37]
  • Sri Lankan cellular operator, Dialog Axiata announced the 4G LTE Trial Network on May 6, 2011.[97]
  • On December 30, 2012, Sri Lankan fixed line operator, Dialog Broadband Networks launched Sri Lanka's first fixed 4G-LTE service.[98]
  • On April 2, 2013, Sri Lankan cellular operator, Dialog Axiata launched South Asia's first mobile FD-LTE service in Sri Lanka.[99]
  • On May 8, 2013, Thailand cellular operator, Truemove-H by Real Future launched Thailand's first commercial LTE service on band 1 (2100 MHz). First phase will covering important business areas in Bangkok such as Siam Square, Silom, and Sathorn. Fifteen other major locations will be covered within the end of 2013 including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Cha-am, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, Nakhon Pathom, Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Songkla (Total 2,000 LTE Base stations)[100]


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  86. ^ Wireless sales propel Telus results
  87. ^ CDMA operators will choose LTE, says ZTE
  88. ^ Japan's KDDI Selects LTE Core as Next-Generation Mobile Broadband Solution from Hitachi and Nortel
  89. ^ News Releases - MetroPCS
  90. ^ Cox goes with LTE-ready CDMA
  91. ^ Zain KSA builds the largest 4G network in the globe
  92. ^ Tech Shorts | Malay Mail Online
  93. ^ Celcom conducting LTE trials with Huawei and Ericsson
  94. ^ Celcom, Maxis in broadband arms race – The Malaysian Insider
  95. ^ Sprint Nextel, Clearwire attempt to clear the air – RCR Wireless News
  96. ^ [1], Press Release (in Estonian), Accessed on December 22, 2010
  97. ^ [2] Dialog Axiata (Sri Lanka) Launches 4G Mobile Service & Leads South Asia]
  98. ^ Dialog launches first fixed 4G-LTE service in Sri Lanka
  99. ^ Dialog Launches First Mobile 4G-LTE Service in Sri Lanka
  100. ^ True Move H – The First To Offer 4G LTE Service On 2100 MHz In Thailand While Reinforcing Its Leadership As The Largest 3G Operator