LTE explodes at CES

Carriers show merits of the fast wireless technology to partners, and users of smartphones, tablets and other devices

LAS VEGAS -- LTE has exploded at this week's Consumer Electronics Show, where the three top U.S. wireless carriers and dozens of other vendors are showing off how they plan to use the high-speed technology with new smartphones, tablets and even ATM's.

Alcatel-Lucent, which supplies LTE switches to the carriers, manned a booth showing several high-tech examples of how LTE wireless technology can support consumers, industry and government, such as providing police departments with the ability to transmit high definition, real-time video and data on crime suspects to officers in patrol cars.

The company also showed how video cameras installed inside police vehicles and connected by LTE to a cloud data respository can scan a crowd of people with facial recognition software or target license plates to identify car owners.

Alcatel-Lucent also displayed a utility vehicle, called Striker1, that was equipped with wireless bridging equipment designed to help police and fire personnel using different different radio frequencies frequencies to communicate with each other as well as with smartphones and tablets over IP, said Wayne Eveland, an Alcatel-Lucent engineer and former captain in the New Jersey State Police.

The Paris-based telecommunications firm also showed how inexpensive (compared to ruggedized laptops) Android tablets mounted inside a vehicle can use LTE to be a primary interface to the cloud. A plumber or utility worker could transmit to a remote expert a video image of a utility switching box and highlight with a finger or stylus where trouble had occurred.

Jason Collins, vice president of emerging technology at Alcatel Lucent, said Striker1 and other technologies displayed in its booth are designed to show how carriers and third party vendors can use LTE technology to improve practical applications.

The demonstrations were created based on the work of Alcatel-Lucent's NG Connect Program, a collaboration of 125 companies.

Much of the LTE news at CES centered on how well the carriers and infrastructure providers are working with a wide variety of partners to show potential users the benefist of faster wireless connections, especially for video communications and fast transfer of rich data content.

Of the three biggest U.S. carriers, Verizon Wireless has the biggest head start with 4G LTE networks operating in some 200 cities. The LTE networks offer average download speeds of more than 10Mbps, or about 10 times faster than predecessor 3G speeds.

Verizon's booth offered CES attendees a look at many demonstrations, including a Diebold ATM machine that uses bandwidth-rich LTE to send and receive live video, along with features that can help reduce theft and better help out customers.

Striker1
Wayne Eveland of Alcatel-Lucent shows off Striker1 vehicle that police offciers could use to to access cloud-based video and data over LTE.
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