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An acronym for Long Term Evolution, LTE is a 4G wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that's designed to provide up to 10x the speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wireless hotspots. 4G technologies are designed to provide IP-based voice, data and multimedia streaming at speeds of at least 100 Mbit per second and up to as fast as 1 GBit per second.

4G LTE is one of several competing 4G standards along with Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) and WiMax (IEEE 802.16).  The leading cellular providers have started to deploy 4G technologies, with Verizon and AT&T launching 4G LTE networks and Sprint utilizing its new 4G WiMax network.  In terms of mobile devices, many newer Android-based smartphones are 4G LTE capable, and both the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3 are expected to have built-in 4G LTE capabilities when released in the second half of 2012.

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