LTE Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

This guide will help you learn the meaning of LTE, where this abbreviation comes from, how it’s used, synonyms, antonyms, and more.

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Technical terms are often introduced to the world without much explanation, particularly with new technologies. We know how to use our phones and computers, but some of these common abbreviations are just words we’ve gotten used to hearing without understanding what they mean. LTE is one of those phrases, but after reading this guide, you’ll know what it means when you see or hear it.

What Does LTE Mean?

According to the dictionary, LTE is an abbreviation for long-term evolution. Long-term evolution is a 4G wireless broadband communication standard. LTE is a good indication that your carrier is still working to provide you with 4G speeds. 4G LTE is not true 4G.

When companies needed to introduce 4G but were not yet capable of providing 4G, 4G LTE was born to signal that new technology is coming. You might also see this referred to as LTE Advanced or LTE-A. It means that your communication standard is advanced, but it doesn’t mean that you’ve reached that next level.

For example, 3G LTE-A connections might only have data speeds of just 1G, but they’re making advancements toward 3G data speeds. The LTE standard is a wireless standard that provides increased speeds and network capacities to our cellular devices.

What Is the Origin of LTE?

In 2008, new standards for 4G or fourth-generation connectivity were released by the ITU Radiocommunication Sector or the ITU-R. This included faster connection speeds and the introduction of mobile hotspots. 

As with other advancements in technology, it can take a while for companies to catch up on a larger scale. Now, though, most 3G networks have been upgraded from 3G to 4G speeds. 

Most smartphones can now use 4G connectivity, so it helps that it is more widely available. LTE was first introduced in early 2010. It is not necessarily that different from 3G. LTE meant that companies could advertise 4G because the long-term potential was there even if they couldn’t technically offer 4G at that time. 

As progress is made to deliver more data at faster speeds, it’s likely that you will continue to see LTE listed. Now, you know not to expect 5G speeds, but you do know that your mobile network is working to provide you with 5G speeds as quickly as possible. 

However, you may be in for a long wait because progress takes time and resources — especially when you’re striving to improve cellular infrastructure.

Which Companies Use LTE?

Some companies who use LTE include:

  • Agilent
  • AT&T Mobility
  • Telefonica UK Limited T/A
  • Nokia
  • PoLTE Corp
  • BaiCells
  • Dejero
  • Tank Utility
  • Altiostar
  • Fi
  • Shared Spectrum
  • Sprint
  • Verizon

The coverage in the United States covers most of North America, and four major companies supply that coverage. The major companies providing the majority of the LTE coverage in the United States are these four wireless carriers:

  • AT&T Mobility
  • T-Mobile
  • UScellular
  • Verizon

How Do I Know Which LTE Company to Use?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers a 4G LTE coverage map to help consumers decide the right company to choose. In other countries, different frequencies and bands are used for LTE, so only a multi-band phone will be able to use LTE in all countries. Before traveling, you’ll want to check your phone’s capabilities to ensure you get the best download speed and signal possible.

In areas where 4G is weak, a signal booster can help improve the signal received from local antennas and frequency bands to increase speed and bandwidth. As with the progression of 4G networks, a 5G network roll-out will take time. It’s hard to imagine the internet transferring information faster than it does now, but that’s the goal.

As with voice calls, your device’s ability to use LTE capabilities depends on your proximity to cell towers and your carrier. As enhancements are made, you may notice improvements to your throughput speeds. 

As advancements are made in downlink speeds (the time it takes to transmit data from a satellite to Earth) and uplink speeds (the time it takes to transmit data from the transmitters to satellites), you will continue to see increases in data transference — and your providers will continue to scramble to keep up and provide you with the technology you want.

Additionally, some companies have started to offer gigabit-class LTE. It is offered on the same spectrum, but it can provide users with download speeds that range from two to seven times faster than 4G LTE. For most users, we simply want our products to work when we use them at our normal speeds. Fast is great, but it’s best when you can sustain a steady speed so you never feel like you’re waiting.

Are There Synonyms for LTE?

Synonyms help us express the same meaning by using different words. Abbreviations like LTE can present a challenge when you’re looking for a synonym, but here are a couple of synonyms for long-term evolution:

  • Standard broadband communication
  • Global standard technology 
  • Cellular telephone network 

Are There Antonyms for LTE?

Antonyms are how we convey an opposite meaning of a word or phrase. As with synonyms, this can be a challenge for the abbreviation itself, but here are a couple of antonym examples for LTE:

  • Wired connection 
  • Radiophone network
  • Wireless telephone 

Examples of LTE in a Sentence

Examples help us know how to use words, terms, abbreviations, and phrases in context. Here are a few examples of how to use LTE in a sentence:

  • Does your phone have 5G LTE technology?
  • They have an LTE network, but it doesn’t quite reach my area.
  • LTE is the standard now for data transmission on mobile devices.
  • If it weren’t for the LTE network, we couldn’t listen to this playlist I created for our road trip.
  • My iPhone has a 4G LTE network. 

The Last Word

Now that you know what LTE means, you’ll understand it when you see or hear it. You can also talk about LTE more confidently in conversation, and with the examples, you can use it in a sentence more easily. Understanding the technical words we use gives us a deeper understanding of how the technology we use so frequently works.


  1. LTE Definition & Meaning | 
  2. ITU Radiocommunication Sector | ITU 
  3. Mobile LTE Coverage Map | Federal Communications Commission