Next generation wireless technology backers this week outlined plans for cross vendor device to network interoperability testing of Long Term Evolution (LTE).

The LTE SAE Trial Initiative (LSTI), a global group of LTE equipment vendors and operators, which is fostering the development of a global LTE ecosystem, launched the initiative to ensure a wide range of LTE devices function consistently on all LTE networks worldwide.

In the initial step, a common set of features for LTE Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) equipment is being defined as the basis for early interoperability tests between devices and infrastructure. This feature set definition is expected to be complete by the end of 2008 and will be followed by interoperability tests across infrastructure equipment, mobile devices, and chipsets from LSTI members.

Initial device to network interoperability tests will focus on basic connectivity and data transmission over LTE networks, including advanced features such as high quality video.

LSTI plans to begin cross vendor interoperability testing in 2009, on the basis of 3GPP specifications which are planned to close in the fourth quarter.

“LTE is positioned to become a global standard for mobile broadband networks,” said Jinsung Choi, vice president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Technology Research Lab. “Having common LTE specifications and achieving widespread interoperability across LTE networks regardless of who designed, built, or operates them will simplify the worldwide adoption of LTE. The network essentially becomes invisible to consumers, making connecting from anywhere in the world as simple as turning on your mobile device.”