Motorola has conducted the industry’s first over-the-air LTE data sessions in the 700MHz spectrum. While actual LTE deployments are a ways out, successful trials suggest the 4G technology is progressing nicely. Using a van to test the connection in a mobile environment, Motorola engineers trialed streaming video and other “high data rate applications” over an LTE Radio Access Test Network with a prototype LTE device. Assuming all goes according to plan, similar field trials and ongoing lab tests (which started in 2007) will lead to Motorola’s first commercial LTE solutions about this time next year. Motorola is currently part of joint LTE trials with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.
The 700MHz spectrum band has received a lot of attention since the US auction earlier this year. In addition to telco plans for new LTE networks, Cox Communications acquired 700MHz spectrum for its own 4G wireless services. While most US cable operators are taking the WiMAX route to get to market faster with mobile broadband, Cox has long-term LTE plans.