Motorola Sells LTE With Visions of Mobile Streaming Video


Motorola (s MOT) today said it has demonstrated data transmissions in the recently auctioned 700 MHz spectrum using equipment based on the LTE next-generation wireless protocol. The equipment will be ready for limited network deployments in 2009. This puts Motorola ahead of other vendors such as Ericsson (s ERIC), which has demonstrated LTE equipment in the lab on different spectrum bands, and will launch LTE equipment for the 700 MHz spectrum in mid 2009.

The 700 MHz auction earlier this year netted the FCC $19.59 billion. LTE is the next-generation wireless networking standard with the potential for speeds of up to 150 Mbps downlink — although likely speeds are about 20 Mbps downlink because of backhaul contraints. Likely first customers for the Motorola LTE equipment include Verizon (s VZ), which has a block of 700 MHz spectrum and plans to move quickly to LTE. The other large buyer of 700 MHz spectrum in the U.S., AT&T, doesn’t plan to deploy LTE until 2012. Europe will auction off its 700 MHz spectrum after it completes its transition from analog to digital television in the 2009-2012 time frame.

Motorola trumpets this news as the precursor for getting HD video streaming on mobile handsets, but while that’s theoretically possible, it isn’t likely. As mentioned, real-world network speeds will likely be around 20 Mbps. Put that on a wireless network shared among dozens of people and the data rates shrink to a point where the 6 Mbps required for HD video look pretty difficult to come by. So the equipment will be deployed, but HD video on mobiles may not be. Getting carriers to raise their data caps, improve their backhaul and embrace HD video on wireless networks is something I will have to see to believe.


adam hartung

This will not turn around Motorola. Executives are not prescient, and companies need market input to migrate successfully. Cutting new products and technologies is not going to provide the elements needed to success – good scenario planning, obsessive competitor understanding, willingness to be disruptive and using White Space to understand market needs. Motorola’s new plan misses most of the requirements. Read more at


I’ve made similar experiences like Markus. Even when you go a little faster on the Autobahn it works nice but there is still a way to go in order to create a real demand.

Markus Göbel's Tech News Comments

I have tried LTE two weeks ago at T-Mobile in Bonn (Germany).

We went up to 120 kilometers per hour on the highway with a LTE equipped car. They made perfect handovers between their three LTE radio cells which froze our HD video conference inside the car only for one second. During the HD video conference we also saw HD IPTV with 150 channels – two HD streams simultaneously.

Funnily 20 Mbps downlink and 6 Mbps uplink was enough for that while driving. With a stationary device we got 150 Mbps downloads and 50 Mbps uploads. This technology really works like charm, only that LTE handsets still have the size of a suitcase.

Greg C.

Stacy, you are right that the average user probably doesn’t need more than 512kb uplink. But, I know there is a market for people like me who want to stream live events with decent quality video. The carriers should open up and offered a tiered rate for people like me that need more uplink bandwidth. The carriers need to think outside of their bubble and realize that the Internet is more than Vcast and Youtube…

Stacey Higginbotham

Greg, I would tend to agree, and wonder how much more or less interactive people are on wireless networks. I consume far more info on my PC than on my mobile, but I certainly send more photos, movies, status updates etc from my mobile. But what do you think the average person actually does? Not sure if they care yet.

Greg C.

Asymmetrical bandwidth just plain sucks. Let me know when we can stream our own video @ 1MB, and then we can get excited. Otherwise it’s the same old tired story…


Ah, should have read more carefully. Thought this was going towards the use of HD video streaming for teleconferencing via mobile phones.


What is the point of streaming HD to a mobile device with tiny display ?

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