Definition of 4G technology
LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards and, when it was launched in 2009, it was also the fastest cellular network technology available on the market. It uses the UMTS infrastructure and is also known as 3.9G because, technically, it doesn’t fully meet the specifications of the 4G standard. Although many carriers refer to LTE as 4G for marketing purposes, only LTE Advanced (LTE-A) corresponds to the definition of 4G. LTE Advanced Pro (LTE-AP) is the final iteration and the pre-5G development stage.
It’s important to remember that there are different categories of LTE. The 3GPP standardisation organisation has defined various LTE release versions and user equipment categories. The release version (REL) indicates technical parameters such as transmission rates. The user equipment category (CAT) defines the performance and the capabilities of the user equipment within a release version. Release 8 is divided into user equipment categories (CAT 1-5).
Max. bandwidth or data rate
Frequency band DE
Up to 10 GBit/s
4G LTE-Advanced, CAT6 and above
LTE-Advanced is an enhancement of the LTE standard. It is abbreviated to LTE-A or LTE+. 4G LTE Advanced can achieve far higher data rates than its predecessor of between 300 and 600 Mbps. One of the features of LTE-Advanced which increases the data rate available to users is carrier aggregation. LTE-Advanced is a category 6 (CAT 6) LTE version.
4.5G LTE Advanced Pro, CAT 11 and above
The LTE-Advanced Pro Standard or 4.5G or LTE-AP (CAT 11 and above) represents the next advancement in LTE technology development. It generally aggregates three component carriers and can achieve peak data rates of 600 Mbps. LTE Advanced Pro is an important step forward towards 5G.