Well the next generation of wireless internet access is upon us. You may have heard in the past month or so talk/chatter in the news about the arrival of LTE here in Canada. If you haven’t heard about LTE, you will in the coming days and weeks for sure. I thought a short post about this next generation technology was in order.
For starters, what is LTE? The acronym itself stands for Long Term Evolution. Catchy name (not) aside, what this is the next generation highspeed wireless network – in short, mobile computing is going to get a lot faster. Surfing via your phone, video calling, app downloading, etc. etc. is going to become faster than the traditional 3G networks we’ve been using. The speeds are between 12 and 25 Mbps which is really getting into speeds that we are used to in our home-based wired connections. Those speeds will go up as well, as LTE can provide speeds even higher (I’ve heard 50-100Mbps) and that in turn will make our already often used smartphone even more useful. Higher speeds will mean that cloud-based services will be more easily accessed via mobile workers, video conferencing will get better and social networking/collaborative apps will become more reliable and widespread.
Of course, your current phone won’t be LTE ready – new hardware will be required. There will be new phones and devices that come about that being to leverage these faster speeds. If you are in the market for a new phone, keep this in mind. It’ll be interesting to see, if later today when the next generation iPhone is announced if it will be an LTE device. The other thing to keep in mind is coverage. As with any new network, it won’t be available everywhere. I’ve spoken with people who have said things like “I want to get an LTE device so I can have faster connectivity at the cottage.” – be careful, the coverage is starting to rollout in highly populated areas first. It won’t be available everywhere and so don’t be disappointed by speeds that are no different from what you are currently used to if you happen to be in an area outside the coverage zone.
All in all, it’s an exciting new network as we move toward the 4G speeds that many of us have been waiting for. I look forward to trying it out, either with a new iPhone (fingers crossed that it’ll be LTE ready!) or with a new wireless internet stick like this Rogers’ LTE Rocket Stick. If you’ve had a chance to use the LTE network already, I’d love to hear some feedback – feel free to comment below!
This week’s app for App Wednesday is truly one of those “must have” apps for me. The app is LogMeIn Ignition which allows you to remotely access and control your PC or Mac from wherever you are.
For quiet a while, I have used the LogMeIn service via other computers and browsers. The way it works is that you simply setup and account (there is a cost) and then associate your PC or Mac with that account. I have three computers associated: my work computer in the office, my personal iMac at home and my personal Mac Mini at home. The service has traditionally allow me, for example, to be on my laptop working remotely (let’s say at a client location) and then if needed, I could access through a browser any of my computers. Once you’ve logged into the service via a browser, you can then remotely control the computer at the remote location.
With the introduction of the iPad app, this service became even more valuable to me. It means that I can even more comfortably travel with just my iPad and not worry about needing my computer. If something does arise where I need my actual computer, I can easily bring it up on my iPad and work at as though I was sitting in front of my actual computer.
It is apps like LogMeIn Ignition that really enhance the value of the iPad. In a sense it gives you the best of both worlds: all the portability and unique apps/experience of using an iPad while still giving you access to the legacy stuff/functionality you may require from your traditional computer. Remember, this is a transition period as we are at the start of the post PC-era and tools like LogMeIn Ignition will help to make that transition for many users.