How LTE-B Will Change The Way We Use Phones

LTE-B is a 4G network broadcast capability, another enhancement to the existing 4G network capabilities which are currently in place. LTE-B is the final step for 4G. The B in LTE-B stands for broadcast. The technology is also known by one of those telco acronyms everyone hates and few remember :Multimedia Broadcast Multimedia Service.

How will LTE-B work?

From a communication standpoint, LTE-B is the difference between running a TV station and sending text messages. It has applications at sports grounds, in demonstrations and shopping centers.Imagine you’re at a football game and, as well as seeing the game live, you want to watch highlights or commentary on your phone, in parallel, too. LTE-B will allow you to do that. In fact, it’s better than 5G networks.

If we were to try to achieve the same thing with LTE / 4G as it stands, each individual who connected, to watch the event, would forma separate connection to the network, and pull down the signal.

With LTE – B, as soon as two handsets connect to the video stream, LTE – B cuts in and everyone in the stadium can access the same feed without adding load to the network. That saves the phone network companies a lot of money. They can sell the data access they otherwise wouldn’t be able to and don’t need to build the same capacity in high population areas. It also reduces the number of ‘network full’ messages phone users get.

Where will we use LTE-B technology?

The benefits of the facility are not limited just to sporting events, either. LTE – B is likely to be used by national and local governments in emergency situations to distribute, for example, information on localized flooding to large groups of people at once.Imagine a coastal town about to be hit by Tsunami. If the population all had an LTE phone, a single LTE -B - broadcast - could be used to distribute an emergency video message from the local emergency services. Before LTE-B, that would have taken hundreds of duplicates of the same message to be sent to each phone individually. With LTE B, delivery is far more efficient, freeing up network resources for other users.


LTE-B is just one more way cellular operators are getting smarter about delivering you the data you need and just one more reason that we won’t all be moving to 5G straight away.

In the UK BT and EE (which merged 2 years ago to become Europe’s biggest telco) are focusing on in car applications for LTE-B technology. Drivers will be able to stay informed with broadcast messages about congestion in an area, stay informed on what they can see from the car as they drive through a new town and even keep the kids amused with TV programming, delivered through LTE to TV screens in the back seat.

Finally, LTE-B can be used to send out updates to many different devices at once. We are all familiar with the need to update our home desktop and laptop computers. Software ‘patching’ of this sort is standard for any IT product. It helps software manufacturers to stay ahead of the hackers. LTE-B can be used to send out software updates to many hundreds of phones, laptops and Internet Connected Artifacts – devices which have been connected to the Internet Of Things – at once. Again, this saves network capacity and helps users get what they want (safer equipment hackers can’t hack) without worrying about network connection technologies.

Bringing it all together

LTE-B might seem like a ‘footnote’ to the 4G networks we’ve taken for granted but it’s not. It’s a very different beast. LTE-B draws in content producers to the world of networks and muddies the already murky waters which distinguish a phone company from one which gives you TV programming.
Unfortunately, for now, there is a hurdle to widespread adoption. It takes people a while to get used to new technology. Only an estimated 75% of people are on 4G phones, even now, 5 years after the SGS3 (LTE) and iPhone 5 made it standard on higher end phones.  Similarly, less than 4% of people now have phones with the ‘chip set’ (processors and other necessary gubbins within the device) to accept LTE-B broadcasts. Importantly, the list of phones which DO NOT take LTE-B signals includes the iPhone – one of the world’s most popular devise.. Until it does, LTE-B is likely to be seen as less than mainstream.


1 people are following this post.
    1. Loading...