Samsung to launch double-speed LTE-A Galaxy S4

s4It looks like LTE will gain a whole new meaning over the next 12 months as Samsung readies a new uprated Galaxy S4, rumoured to be officially announced on June 20.

The Korean giant will launch a new version of its flagship smartphone that incorporates LTE-Advanced, the next-generation 4G wireless standard.

Samsung boss, JK Shin, announced the company would be the first to launch a phone with the new technology that can double data speeds compared with existing LTE technology and networks.

LTE-A, as its known, is still a tech in its infancy and at time of the Samsung announcement, only the Russian Yota network officially supported the standard, a network which is using Huawei technology.

However, there are carriers around the world that are either beginning or completing trials of the new standard.

For example, earlier this year, partners Ericsson and Australia’s Telstra announced they would begin trials of so-called LTE Carrier Aggregation (CA), using 900 and 1800MHz, with an aim to improve ‘coverage, capacity and availability’ across the country.

LTE-CA enables network carriers to combine carrier channels and achieve higher data rates by expanding the data bandwidth beyond the current 20MHz limit. LTE-A CA enables them to do this whether or not they have spectrum allocation in contiguous or seperate chunks. Shin also said that a movie download that took three minutes on an LTE Galaxy S4 will only take a little over one minute on a new LTE-A Galaxy S4 model.

However, despite the new phone arriving shortly, we have to wait for the network carriers to catch up in terms of backend hardware. Part of the delay has come from the need to wait for governments to reallocate analog TV spectrum to the phone carriers.

In Australia, the analog TV changeover is completed December 3 this year when the mainland capital cities switch over to an all-digital TV transmission system and the old analog TV spectrum is freed up, presumably for LTE-A use.

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