The UK lagged behind the U.S. when it came to pushing out a 4G LTE network, but according to the CEO of the EE network, it’s ready to start connecting subscribers to an LTE-Advanced signal, putting it one step ahead of almost everywhere bar South Korea.
EE’s CEO, Olaf Swantee, provided a few details on the extended trail during an interview just before the start of Mobile World Congress. Apparently, those living in the south of London will be first to receive LTE-A, although not until the end of summer. Once those areas have been established, a wider introduction throughout the city will begin.
We’ve gone into detail about LTE-A, now it works, and its benefits before. To recap, while 4G LTE can provide download speeds of between 10Mbps and 100Mbps, LTE-A should offer between 100Mbps and 300Mbps. Laboratory tests give LTE-A a theoretical top speed of 1Gbps, but this would never be reached out in the real world. We’d be happy with 300Mbps though.
In the U.S., T-Mobile has been talking about introducing elements of LTE-Advanced to improve stability and performance of its existing high-speed network. In South Korea, several local operators offer LTE-A, with SK Telecom promoting a regular connection speed of 150Mbps.
EE began a very limited trial of LTE-A in London last year, using Huawei’s infrastructure equipment. The new test may be wider, but it’s still going to be restrictive, as LTE-A compatible phones won’t be on sale to the general public straight away. Instead, the trail could use LTE-A wireless dongles.