LTE expanding across carriers -- and worldIn this Inside Scoop, CNET's Kara Tsuboi talks with Kent German, who explains what LTE really does with your smartphone and how it is expanding to more cities, not only in the United States, but across the world.
-Hey there, I'm Kara Tsuboi cnet.com. Welcome to the Inside Scope. Hi, and with the iPhone 5 coming out recently Kent, there's been a lot of talk about LTE. First of all, we'll get to the iPhone 5 later, but tell us what is LTE? What does that even stand for? -Stands for long term evolution. It's a type of 4G technology. So, that's a wireless transmission technology that is faster than 3Gs what we had before and just delivers your data a lot faster. -Okay and it's also one of those standards that kind of just used globally. Is that correct? -Just we're getting to that United States had the first LTE networks that are now in Australia. The UK is getting them soon and then will be expanded out to other countries, but it really started here in the US and eventually LTE is hopefully gonna be a standard that's gonna be used all around the world. -And when you talk about LTE in America, you're basically talking about 3 major careers that have LTE network. That's Verizon, AT&T, and then Sprint. -Sure. -The Verizon has the broadest coverage, right? -Yeah, they were first. I mean, they started quite a while ago. So, they have over 350 cities now. AT&T caught up a little later. They have only about 60 to 100 cities and Sprint, they had another type of 4G for a while called WiMAX. They decided to switch to LTE. So, their network is still really growing. It's only about 19 cities right now and growing less than the others. -So, if you're in the market for smarphone, whether that's an android and iPhone, is this really a deciding factor and which phone to get and then which carrier to use. -Sure, I mean of big-- LTE is one of the iPhone 5's big attractions. I mean that's one of the best features on it because every other iPhone before didn't have it. Android phones have had LTE for a while. So, those users know benefits of the real fast data. It is deciding factor in your carrier as well. -Okay. -Because-- Well first of all coverage. You know, you wanna be in a city that has LTE of you're gonna use it, but AT&T, unlike the iPhone 4S and previous iPhones, AT&T on the iPhone, you can use voice and data at the same time. So, that means you can be on a call. You can look at your maps. You can open your browser. But even with LTE, Sprint and Verizon still can't do that. You have to do voice or data. You can't use them both unless you're on WiFi. -Is that a change that we could see soon? Were they will have the same capability as AT&T. -Yeah, eventually, carriers are gonna roll out with called voice over LTE. So, that means voice will actually travel over the LTE network. Right now, only data is going over LTE. So, you know, you Facebook update, your maps, you know, anything like that or your voice still travelling over the network you've always used. -So, when it comes down it, it really depends on which city you're in this country, which carrier is best for that city and the which phone you're going to use that has that capability. -Sure, I think, if you're buy the iPhone 5 and you're in a major city, you're probably okay and it will get you to get through that eventually but if really enjoy the benefits of LTE in the other phone for matter, you wanna make sure LTE is in your area. -Great. Thank you so much Kent German, senior managing editor. I'm Kara Tsuboi, cnet.com. thanks for watching the Inside Scope.