Ericsson shows off its 4G LTE technology, but it's still years off

Ericsson recently unveiled its M700 platform, a next-generation mobile chipset for 4G LTE broadband that will offer up to 100Mbit/s download and up to 50Mbit/s upload rate.

The announcement comes during the same week of CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas, where mobile technologies such as WiMAX have been snapping up news headlines. WiMAX is a competing 4G standard backed by Sprint, Motorola and Intel.

The first products using Ericsson's M700 will be different types of notebook modems, not mobile phones - and the technology could be incorporated into notebooks, gaming devices, ultra-portables and cameras after it launches.

Outside of the products, LTE -- which evolved from 3G HSDPA mobile broadband -- can also be used for activities such as interactive TV, advanced games and mobile video blogging.

Sony Ericsson, the company's mobile phone venture with Sony, will likely be an early adopter of LTE and the M700 chipset, but will wait patiently until it sees customer demand for the new mobile platform.

"This world-first launch marks a milestone in Ericsson's technology leadership and reflects our commitment to developing LTE as an evolutionary path," said Robert Puskaric, Head of Ericsson Mobile Platforms. "It is set to boost operators' service offering and provide consumers with a superior experience with full service broadband on any device, anywhere, at any time."

M700 will be an internationally-capable, with 700MHz in the United States and 1500 MHz being the two most important bands. Four other frequency bands are also supported in Ericsson's chipset.

Ericsson will make samples of the M700 available this year and commercial release is slated to take place in 2009. However, actual products using the technology won't be available to consumers until 2010, the company estimates.

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