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LTE drives infotainment, telematics apps

Posted: 01 Dec 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LTE? mobile broadband? infotainment? telematics?

LTE mobile broadband connected systems, which have great range and connection speeds 100 times faster 2/3G data services, will drive the expanding automotive applications. Don't believe what you see in the side-view mirror. The next generation of in-vehicle applications is closer than it appears. The biggest reason: The rapidly accelerating deployment of LTE networks.

Auto manufacturers recognize that LTE is the future of mobile connectivity, and many are already planning LTE-equipped vehicles for as soon as 2014.

From an engineering perspective, however, LTE presents some significant challenges. To design an effective LTE-connected car system, you need to understand where LTE networks are today, where they're going, and what attributes in-car systems should have to bridge that gap.

In this report
??The promise of LTE
??Staying connected: Antennas and noise
??Hints and tips

The promise of LTE
With the ability to connect cars over LTE networkseffectively, the ability to bring wireline broadband speeds to the automobilea wide range of new applications become available in the vehicle. Services such as Internet-streamed video, music, and even video conferencing (used from the passenger or rear seat, of course) will likely be the first examples that spring to mind.

These applications will benefit not just from the supercharged capacity and range of LTE, but from the much lower latency of LTE systems (latency often being the most critical factor in delivering a high quality-of-experience to the user). But the potential for LTE-connected car applications goes beyond entertainment and communications.

For example, superfast vehicle-to-vehicle communications could enable new safety services, such as the ability to stream video of road conditions recorded from other vehicles in real time, or receive alerts when cars up ahead of you slam on their brakes. In theory, the LTE-connected car could become a portal for all sorts of new applications and servicesmuch like the iPhone transformed the mobile phone, and spawned previously unthinkable mobile services and business models.

These and other possibilities are generating tremendous excitement across the industry. But how close are we to actually realizing the potential of LTE-connected applications? Some important barriers remain.

Operating in real-world vehicles
The biggest obstacle is the fact that it will be a while before LTE coverage catches up with LTE devices and applications. Operators around the world are busy deploying LTE networks; according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 237 operators in 85 countries are now investing in LTE technology, making it the fastest-growing mobile system rollout in the history of the industry. But for the most part, these networks are still in early stages of development.

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