LTE is a 4G telecommunications standard used to transfer data through cellular networks. It supports data transfer rates up to 100 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream.
The full form of LTE is “Long Term Evolution.” While these terms “4G” and “LTE” are used according to synonyms, LTE is a subset of 4G technologies. Other 4G standards include Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) and WirelessMAN-Advanced (IEEE 802.16m). Since LTE was designed in an international telecommunications standard, it has been used heavily in the United States and many countries in Europe and Asia. Therefore, LTE has become a very common 4G standard in recent times.
To use LTE, you must have an LTE-compatible device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or USB dongle that provides wireless access to a laptop. When LTE first became available in 2009, many devices did not even support this technology. However, most major cellular phones provide LTE, and hence most phones and other mobile devices have become LTE-compatible.
In many devices, such as iPhones and iPad, you will see the letters “LTE” in the status bar at the top of the screen when you connect to an LTE network. If the “4G” display appears, then know that LTE is not yet available in that area.
LTE also means LTE Advanced, a newer version of LTE that supports peak download speeds of 1 Gbps and upload speeds around 500 Mbps (10x speeds even more than standard LTE).