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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

The 4G challenge that networking users now face ­

Dan-Joe Barry
Friday, June 1, 2012
Dan-Joe Barry
Dan-Joe Barry, VP Marketing with Napatech, looks at some of the challenges that 4G cellular poses the networking community..

One of the biggest technical challenges facing the networking industry today are the demands that the next generation of cellular communications – known as 4G (for fourth generation) – will place on the network backhaul and communications networks generally.

4G – better known as Long Term Evolution by those in the know – is a revolution in terms of data speeds, but is actually a natural upgrade for existing 2G and 3G cellular networks, achieving downstream speeds of an astonishing 300 Mbps and uplink speeds of 75 Mbps. And just to make life interesting, because LTE is designed – as the name implies – as an evolutionary standard, even higher speeds are made possible through the use of LTE Advanced (LTE-A) technology. Early tests of LTE-A suggest that mobile data speeds of 1 Gbps (yes, a gigabit per second) downstream are going to be the norm when the technology arrives commercially in the latter half of the decade.

Achieving this kind of speed on a mobile basis is not actually that difficult because of the cellular/wireless technology involved, but the real fun and games - from a networking perspective - comes when all of this data needs to be backhauled across the wireline network and interconnected with the Internet and other mobile services.

"But hey, it’s mainly voice communications we’re talking here and voice calls consume only a smidgen of networking bandwidth, so what’s the big deal?"

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