Candidate technologies for future mobile standard IMT-Advanced have this week been submitted to the ITU. In one camp, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has submitted LTE-Advanced, an upgrade to LTE technology, whilst the IEEE has submitted its successor to the mobile WiMAX standard 802.16e, called 802.16m (or WiMAX Release 2.0). The deadline for submissions was October 7. In a statement, Adrian Scrase, Head of the 3GPP Mobile Competence Centre, stressed the evolutionary aspects of the LTE-Advanced proposal, commenting: “More than 30 operators have already announced their intention to deploy the LTE technology, and the evolution possibilities of LTE Release 10 & beyond provides security for their investments for many years to come.” No statement was immediately available from the IEEE on its WiMAX proposal.
A long evaluation process is now expected, taking until at least October 2010. Unstrung notes that the evaluation formally begins at a meeting in Dresden, Germany, next Wednesday. During that time, the ITU will consider whether or not each of the technologies meets the IMT-Advanced requirements. The key characteristics of IMT-Advanced are downlink speeds of 100 Mbit/s in the wide area with high mobility and 1 Gbit/s in low-mobility scenarios; low latency at less than 10 millisecond roundtrip delay; and very wide spectrum bandwidths of up to 100 MHz. Interestingly, a statement from 3G Americas suggests that – given the current nascent commercial development of WiMAX and LTE networks – it could be well toward the end of the next decade before any IMT-Advanced system has a large subscriber base.