The 3GPP, which oversees the LTE standard, defines how base stations should communicate information about their current load to other cells. The value of NSN's software is in how it analyzes that data to draw conclusions about when to shift users' devices between cells, Xu said. The team that she leads from Arlington Heights, Illinois, near Chicago, developed the new algorithm last year. It will probably go into an official software release next year, Makinen said.
It's too early for most carriers to worry about load-balancing on LTE networks because the user loads on them aren't that high yet, Makinen said. However, as more consumers buy LTE-capable devices and start taking advantage of the technology's throughput, it's like that carriers will start running into capacity issues soon, he said.