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One downside of LTE-Advanced: It could make smartphones bigger and bulkier

Published Feb 7th, 2013 11:59PM EST
LTE Advanced Criticism

Everyone who loves fast mobile data should be very excited for LTE-Advanced since it’s the next iteration of LTE technology that promises to deliver average downloads at 100Mbps or higher. But Technology Review has posted an interesting article that touches on one of the downsides of LTE-Advanced: It could make smartphones bulkier than what we’ve become used to over the past several years. Because LTE-Advanced relies upon multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technology to deliver its high-end speeds, it requires multiple antennae that receive data signals from different spectrum bands to function optimally.

The result of this, says Technology Review, is that LTE-Advanced smartphones “will need more powerful processors, as well as more antennas inside” as well as “more energy storage to do the necessary onboard computation.” Add all this up, and it’s tough to imagine that the early versions of LTE-Advanced smartphones will be as light as our current mobile devices. While this may sound terrific to people who are phablet fans, it will be interesting to see if people who prefer smaller devices will hold off on buying LTE-Advanced devices until the technology evolves to make them more compact.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.