So you think that you are cruising to the latest and best mobile network – the 4G LTE network in the neighborhood? Here’s news for you, buddy, coverage of your 4G LTE network could eventually whittle to nothing, courtesy of $650 worth of equipment. Yes sir, I am referring to how the entire 4G LTE network in a city could be taken down using such equipment – if researchers have done their homework and they are correct, of course. The research team over at Virginia Tech do believe that a battery-operated transmitter which is no larger than a small briefcase could, theoretically, shut down 4G coverage with a radius that is measured in miles instead of meters around a large base station, meaning thousands of users would be cut off from their communications and downloads.
All it takes is attacking a small section of LTE spectrum, and the LTE base station can be knocked out. Assuming that both 3G and 2G networks are phased out eventually, with just 4G LTE left behind, then the lack of a back-up system in place might be precarious as emergency services need a backup plan to communicate with one another. The hardware required? A laptop, a software-defined radio and a car battery. Hopefully there will be a workaround on this issue soon.