What is LTE?


What is LTE?

LTE is high-speed Internet technology for mobile networks. It's the successor of the 2G GSM standard. The name originated as an abbreviation of Long Term Evolution. It delivers faster downloads and data uploads when compared to the older 3G and 2G networks. Although we often encounter LTE as an inclusion of 4G, it still formally falls under the 3G network. The speeds that define the 4G standard are still hard to reach for LTE networks.

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What is LTE? LTE is high-speed Internet technology. It's formally ranked among 3G networks.

i Some Terms to Know
GSM is the most common standard for mobile phones. Around five billion devices worldwide use this standard. It works on a cellular system, which means that mobile phones connect to it by searching for the closest cell.
GPRS is a service that enables smartphone users in the GSM network to transfer data and access the Internet. The advantage of GPRS is the better use of available resources. Some disadvantages include the difficulty of ensuring reliable and through speed. This can have negative consequences, especially when streaming videos or listening to music.

LTE vs 4G

LTE isn't the same as 4G. So what's the main difference between LTE and 4G? The maximum power of the 4G networks lies in the speed of up to 1000 Mbit/s. LTE is 10 times slower with downloading and uploading - 100 Mbit/s, respectively 50 Mbit/s. It's also worth noting that the reported speeds here are in the theoretical possibilities of the LTE network. At home, the speed is approximately 5 to 12 Mbit/s to download and 2 to 5 Mb/s to upload. This is probably the biggest difference. It can be said that LTE is almost a pathway to reach 4G standard as quickly as possible. LTE has become an intermediate stage between 3G and the future 4G network.

LTE Speed and Other Benefits Over the Older 3G and 2G Networks

  • LTE is bidirectional and faster - download (100 Mbit/s) and upload (50 Mbit/s) speeds,
  • LTE achieves lower latency (the so-called ping), i.e., delay in sending/receiving data,
  • LTE offers faster web and application responses,
  • LTE is less energy-intensive technology,
  • LTE also covers areas that previous high-speed networks have not been able to reach.

LTE Disadvantages

  • Higher speeds, and hence higher data transfers, can lead to a faster data depletion,
  • LTE may not work on all phones (see below).


TDD and FDD abbreviations can be found today in almost every description of mobile phone parameters. Do you know what they mean? The answer is simple: they mark whether the mobile phone is compatible with LTE.

Differences between TDD and FDD are found in the data transfer. TDD, Time Division Duplex, is when data transfer takes place in both directions at a single frequency. Then, alternate time slots are used that are separate for each direction. This method of data transfer is used frequently in China. That's also why we often find it often in phones designed for the Chinese market. LTE can't be used with this transfer method. Europe mostly uses FDD (Frequency Division Complex), which uses two frequencies. One for uploading, and the other for downloading (and it's usually LTE compatible).

LTE in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, all major operators offer mobile phones with LTE coverage. You can enjoy fast Internet access on your mobile or tablet (if supported by LTE). You can also use it on your desktop computer by using a LTE modem. The Czech Republic usually has 800, 1800, and 2100MHz frequencies. The higher frequencies are reserved for larger cities or densely populated areas.

Phone with LTE

Almost every user can use LTE with their mobile phone today. If you are using LET, you can enjoy fast Internet speed even outside of your home network.

What does this mean for users? They don't need to carefully study mobile phone technology. They don't even have to support all the listed frequencies, and in the worst case they do not even need to support any of them. The mobile phone will only be able to receive the LTE signal in certain places. More specifically, when your operator will send a signal to a non-supported frequency, you'll have to settle for the lower bandwidth of the classic 3G network. The result will be, for example, slower Internet surfing.

i LTE in the Czech Republic Can Be Found Almost Everywhere
According to the information from the Czech Telecommunication Office, the LTE signal has covered the Czech Republic since 12 December 2017. Minor gaps in the signal can be found in some regions in western Czech Republic, such as the Krkonoše and Jeseníky Mountains, as well as Beskids in southeastern Moravia. Large cities and the centre of the Czech Republic are fully covered by LTE and all operators.

LTE in Europe

Operators in European countries use different frequencies. You can find out more about the frequency speed from this table:

FrequencyCzech RepublicGermanyAustriaHungarySlovakia
800MHzT-Mobile, O2, VodafoneO2, T-Mobile, VodafoneA1 TelekomTelekom, Telenor, VodafoneO2, Orange, Slovak Telekom
1800MHzT-Mobile, O2, VodafoneE-Plus, T-mobile3, T-MobileTelekom, TelenorO2, Slovak Telekom, SWAN
2100MHzT-Mobile, O2, Vodafone
2600MHzT-Mobile, O2, VodafoneT-mobile, Vodafone3, A1 Telekom, and T-MobileTelekom, VodafoneOrange, Slovak Telekom

LTE versus the older 3G and 2G networks offers a number of benefits, such as higher speeds. Today, coverage isn't a problem anymore. One must note that LTE is just another step to the 4G network. 

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