LTE Device Requirements for Verizon Wireless

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LTE Device Requirements for Verizon Wireless

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Not long ago, Verizon Wireless (VzW) released their initial LTE device requirements intended for 3GPP band 13 (700MHz). The document which is in the public domain is full of interesting information about the shape of things to come on the LTE front. By reading it, one can get a decent idea about the first LTE devices that will be commercially available. Here is a brief summary.

Perhaps the most conspicuous fact is the absence of voice services in the Services description. VzW will be providing packet data service initially. This was expected and is quite in line with previous technology enhancements such as HSPA and DO. These devices were launched as PC-cards initially and later USB modules, before the technology was integrated with the traditional handset form, supporting voice.

The SIM card is supported from the outset, but more interesting is the requirement for the IMS-based SIM or ISIM. This is an obvious reflection of VzW's interest in IMS as the platform for IP-based service convergence. As an example, SMS will be supported over IMS.

On the technology side, we note the explicit disregard for TDD operation, which would not be suitable for the 10 MHz paired band operation in band 13 in any case. The device category is given as 1, 2 or 3. This will ultimately dictate the device's data rate performance. A peek in the specification for category 3 (TS 36.306) puts the peak rate at about 102Mbps. Yes, this may be "ain't gonna see it" type of data rate, however keep in mind that the same "ain't gonna see it" rate for the fastest HSDPA device is 13.9Mbps. If you were like me when I was a kid, then you know that comparing these numbers is just like peeking at the car dashboards in an auto-show to see which one has a higher max speed printed on the speedometer. The car with the highest reading, had all my respect!

Multiple antennas are supported and the VzW requirement is in line with the specifications. Category 2 and 3 devices must support multiple antenna operations in MIMO mode, not just receive diversity. Only one transmitting antenna is required (and at least two receiving) at the device in Release 8, however it should be possible to switch the transmitter output between a primary and secondary antenna as required.

On the IP side, the device is required to support simultaneous IPv4 and IPv6 sessions. Up to 3 IP addresses should be supported and connectivity to multiple PDN-Gateways is a requirement.  IP-mobility is handled by GTP or PMIPv6 and this does not have any impact on the device which can attach to the network using Simple IPv6

With LTE, VzW will forever put behind their well known limitations regarding international roaming. The LTE device is required to support at least 70 network entries. However, a packet-only device is a notorious generator of exorbitant international data roaming charges! It will be interesting to see how Vzw and their international partners deal with the pricing points for data roaming in the near future.

The game continues, and the ball is about to pass the net and drop on AT&T's court.


  • Thanks Hooman,

    I am newbie to LTEuniversity. I am looking forward for more.