O2 4G network up and running in Slough - 20 times faster than 3G
LTE stands for ‘Long Term Evolution’ and it’s an enhanced version of the current HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology that most 3G smartphones and USB 3G modems are currently based on.
Among LTE’s many improvements are a downlink rate of at least 100Mbit/s and an uplink rate of at least 50Mbits, and a ping time of less than 10ms. For comparison, current HSDPA technology has a downlink rate of 7.5Mbit/s. O2’s trial at its Slough HQ achieved a peak downlink rate of 150Mbit/s.
O2’s demonstration was part of a technology showcase rather than the first stage of a rollout and there’s no news yet on when O2 is planning to introduce LTE to its UK mobile network.
Huawei already has one commercial LTE network under its belt though, in Norway. Nordic mobile network operator TeliaSonera turned on its Huawei-powered 4G service in Oslo yesterday, alongside an Ericsson-powered 4G network in Stockholm. Other cities in Norway and Sweden are expected to get 4G over the course of 2010.
There are no 4G smartphones available yet, so TeliaSonera customers can only take advantage of the faster mobile data speeds using a laptop and the Samsung ‘Kalmia’ 4G USB modem at the moment.