Rrival to WIMAX backed by the EU

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The EU's announcement that it will invest €18 million in LTE (Long Term Evolution), effectively endorsing it as the EU's 4G mobile technology of choice. LTE is the alternative to 4G - WiMAX.

This could represent another setback for WiMAX and is another attack on Intel after the record fine it imposed earlier this year. Intel has previously revealed its sensitivity towards the 4G debate.


While the dominant mobile technology in Europe is far from guaranteed to occupy similar positions in the Americas or Asia Pacific, "With LTE technologies, Europe's research 'know-how' will continue to set the tone for the development of mobile services and devices around the globe, just as we did in the past decades with the GSM standard," said Viviane Reding, the EU's Commissioner for Telecoms and Media.

"LTE technologies will turn mobile phones into powerful mobile computers. Millions of new users will get ultra high-speed internet access on their portable devices, wherever they are. This will create tremendous opportunities and plenty of space for growing the digital economy."

LTE is expected to provide mobile internet speeds of up to 100 mbps (megabits per second), with LTE advanced promising ten times that. Nokia, the largest handset maker in the world, indicated it favours LTE when Nokia Siemens announced it was going to buy Nortel's LTE assets. So much for that Intel-Nokia alliance then.

The European Commission's Digital Competitiveness report published in July  shows that Europe's digital sector has made strong progress since 2005: 56% of Europeans now regularly use the internet, 80% of them via a high-speed connection (compared to only one third in 2004), making Europe the world leader in broadband internet.

Europe is the world's first truly mobile continent with more mobile subscribers than citizens (a take up rate of 119%). Europe can advance even further as a generation of "digitally savvy" young Europeans becomes a strong market driver for growth and innovation.

Building on the potential of the digital economy is essential for Europe's sustainable recovery from the economic crisis. Today the Commission has asked the public what future strategy the EU should adopt to make the digital economy run at full speed.