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Mobile heavyweights seek to finalise 1Gbps standard

The world’s top handset makers are meeting this week to finalise a version of an advanced mobile communication standard that would raise data transfer speeds to 1Gbps.

About 800 people, from companies such as HTC, Nokia and Samsung Electronics, will agree on final terms for the Long-Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-Advanced) standard at a meeting of the 3GPP standards body in Taipei this week.

With speeds up to 1Gbps, the technology will be ideal for people who download audio-visual files onto their handhelds, said Feng Wen-sheng, wireless communications director with a lab under the event sponsor, Taiwan’s government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute.

LTE-Advanced will also give machines another way to communicate with one another, for example allowing them to connect sensors detecting changes in air temperature that could signal a fire or a burglary and then passing messages to emergency personnel such as search and rescue teams, Feng said.

This type of data transfer is expected to help especially with earthquake relief.

“Mobile voice technology is pretty advanced already, so this time it’s all about data transfers,” Feng said. “We’ve been trying to get LTE-Advanced out there for some time, and in Taipei we expect to confirm a final version.”

The International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, has adopted LTE-Advanced and WiMax-derived WirelessMAN-Advanced standards for its IMT-Advanced program to define future mobile networks. It says both are substantial improvements over current wireless systems.

After Friday, the LTE Advanced standard will be ready for manufacturers to design smartphones and network equipment, Feng said, as participants at this week’s conference discuss patents and cross-license deals relating to the technology.

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