Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology is ahead in the race to be the most sought-after next-generation (4G) wireless network standard in the market. The 4G wireless networks are aiming to cope with substantial demand for high-speed wireless data services and mobile video.

The growing acceptance of LTE technology has prompted the mobile handset makers to develop phones that will be compatible with this network. Qualcomm Inc (QCOM), one of the key developers of OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) based chipsets has decided to introduce the trial version of LTE-compatible chipsets during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Industry sources predicted that the first LTE handsets may arrive on the market in the second half of 2010, but these next-generation smart-phones may to go mass market by early 2012. NTT DoCoMo (DCM) will launch LTE handsets in 2011 compatible with its current 3G network, enabling the customers to access services even if they are outside an LTE coverage area.

LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics on the other hand have already given a demonstration of LTE-based modems. LTE is expected to achieve download transmission speeds of 300Mbps and offers several advantages over other wireless techniques.

Rumors within the broadband industry are suggestive of an expected deal between the iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) to introduce a new LTE-compatible iPhone. Nokia Corp (NOK), the largest mobile phone developer in the world, has also entered the race and is expected to launch LTE-based mobile handsets by 2011. Metro PCS Inc (PCS) is expected to deploy LTE network in late 2010 or in early 2011. The company is already working with ZTE Corp to create an LTE handset.
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