Novatel Claims First LTE Data Call

2/9/10Follow @bvbigelow

In what may be a pre-emptive announcement before next week’s GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, San Diego’s Novatel Wireless (NASDAQ: NVTL) says it has successfully made a data transmission call using Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G technology.

LTE is one of several next-generation wireless technology standards that promise increased capacity as cell phone users increasingly download data, photos, and video from the Internet. Novatel says LTE can provide data rates as high as 50 megabits per second on the uplink and 100 megabits per second on the downlink and “an enhanced user experience by leveraging new, wider bandwidth spectrum.”

But as Phone Scoop blogger Eric M. Zeman notes, “Novatel didn’t state what speeds it attained, nor whether or not the equipment used was standards compliant.”

Novatel says that many wireless system operators are planning to overlay fourth-generation LTE systems on their existing 3G networks to augment data capacity in important areas. The company also says it is working with operators, which it did not identify, and plans to launch commercial data services later this year. In the statement issued by Novatel, CTO Slim Souissi says, “We believe our aggressive development efforts will enable us to deliver these innovative solutions with the fastest possible time to market.”

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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