& cplSiteName &

EE Switches On LTE-Advanced in UK

Ray Le Maistre
11/5/2013
50%
50%

LONDON -- Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum -- UK mobile operator EE has deployed, activated, and tested LTE-Advanced base stations in two sites in London ahead of service trials in December. It plans to expand its LTE-A coverage across the whole of the capital city in the coming months, the operator's CEO Olaf Swantee announced in London Tuesday.

But while the operator is claiming to have the fastest LTE-Advanced network in the world, with potential downlink speeds of 300 Mbit/s, no one can actually use it in anger -- yet. (See Euronews: EE Claims 4G World Record.)

EE, in collaboration with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., has upgraded to LTE-A to cover the immediate area where the Chinese vendor is holding its London customer conference, and also in the so-called Tech City area of the capital, where digital startups are setting up shop. Swantee said that during the past few days, EE and Huawei technicians had achieved actual downlink speeds of 296 Mbit/s over the LTE-A connections.

The next step is to set up user trials in Tech City, although this will involve fixed routers for devices, since the relevant smartphones are not yet available. "The challenge for the device-makers is the heat that is generated in the smartphones by such high-speed broadband services," noted the CEO, "and it's not really possible to build them with [cooling] fans," quipped the Dutchman.

Those trials will start in December, after which EE will roll out LTE-Advanced across London, a process that involves the deployment of new antennas as well as network upgrades. The operator expects to have mobile WiFi devices that can hook up to the new network by the second quarter of 2014. Smartphones (that don't overheat) should be available during the second half of next year.

In the meantime, EE already has more than 1 million regular LTE customers and has upgraded its network to enable downlink speeds of up to 30 Mbit/s. It is now offering its 4G service in 131 towns and cities across the UK, with Bath and Chester to be added this week. (See EE Feels the Squeeze in Q3 , Q&A: EE Evolves Its 4G LTE Strategy, and Euronews: EE Sees 4G Take-up Double in Q2.)

Is there really that much of a need to rush into LTE-A? Swantee says user demands, especially from business customers, are driving the strategy, citing consumer and business video as well as heavy-duty business applications such as access to ERP systems as drivers for faster speeds and greater capacity.

But it's not just about business customer demands. "It's not just for technofreaks. Data usage is set to rise by 750 percent during the next three years," noted Swantee.

—Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
11/6/2013 | 4:46:14 AM
LTE-Advanced - when mobile kicks fixed b'band hard?
As Swantee noted, one of the biggest challenges with LTE-Advanced is going to be the smartphones -- but in the meantime, LTE-A is REALLY getting into te territory of fixed broadband replacement.... that could be an interesting development for the fixed line firms and a marketing opportunity for the mobile operators (bundle a fixed router with a smatrphone?)
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
The Anatomy of Automation: Q&A With Cisco's Roland Acra
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 12/7/2017
Netflix Evaluating AI for Personalized Trailers
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 12/8/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed