The LTE UE categories or UE classes are needed to ensure that the base station, or eNodeB, eNB can communicate correctly with the user equipment. By relaying the LTE UE category information to the base station, it is able to determine the performance of the UE and communicate with it accordingly.
As the LTE category defines the overall performance and the capabilities of the UE, it is possible for the eNB to communicate using capabilities that it knows the UE possesses. Accordingly the eNB will not communicate beyond the performance of the UE.
There are five different LTE UE categories that are defined.The different LTE UE categories have a wide range in the supported parameters and performance. LTE category 1, for example does not support MIMO, but LTE UE category five supports 4x4 MIMO.