LTE steps up to bat

CTIAIf you didn’t look you might have missed it.  If the letters LTE just passed your field of vision at CTIA you might have missed the next evolution in wireless technology.  LTE or Long Term Evolution is being positioned as the successor to 3G.

Technically speaking, LTE is a modulation technique that is the latest variation of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology. It was dubbed “Long Term Evolution” because it is viewed as the natural progression of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), the GSM technology that is currently used by carriers such as AT&T to deliver 3G mobile broadband.

Many of the big carriers at CTIA this year had demonstrations of their LTE technology and all the amazing things they can do.  Many had large LCD/Plasma screens with multiple windows all showing HD movie videos while running multiple live camera feeds.  The point of all this was to show that this new network is capable of very high speed, high quality content and data delivery.  From a purely non-technical perspective what I saw was pretty amazing.  The video quality was impressive.  The live camera feeds showed no perceptible pausing or delays.  From what I could tell it was real time live video.  Of course it was in a controlled environment but it was still a great execution of the technology.

With what LTE is able to do by delivering so much data/video simultaneously left me wondering about all the possibilities:  Machine to Machine (M2M) connections in the field of medical devices, telematics and infotainment–I can easily see real time remote monitoring of patient health with much greater speed and reliability; Real time two way patient/doctor conversations;  Enhanced on-board auto diagnostic and data delivery.

Whether a consumer uses a new LTE enabled device or the car itself is plugged into the LTE network, the real gain will be to the consumer.  The content experience and messaging opportunity for brands will follow.   The speed and richness of content and the increased targeting capacity ads with GPS will further help to connect people, places and product.