Some US carriers are expected to start to speed up 4G with double size radio channels as 2013 draws to a close, according to the CEO of RootMetrics .
Wider radio channels equates to higher speeds for 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) services. Carriers in the US have so far been deploying LTE on 2x10MHz radio channels at best.
"The likelihood is, by the end of this year, we’ll see 20x20MHZ channels launched in the US, which in theory should double LTE speeds," RootMetric's CEO Bill Moore told Light Reading recently, without revealing which carriers he expects to be first to double up.
The actual speeds delivered by the updates -- of course -- won't really deliver doubled speeds, but, Moore notes. "We'll actually see [download] speeds jumping from, say, 16 Mbit/s to 22 or 23 Mbit/s with maximums of 80 Mbit/s down."
RootMetrics has found average top speeds of 18.6 Mbit/s on today's LTE networks with maximum downloads of 50 Mbit/s recorded for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) (See: 4G LTE: AT&T Wins on Speed, Verizon on Size.)
The RootMetrics CEO stresses, however, that 4G is really only part of the picture. "We weight reliability higher than we rate speed. If I can’t get on network then speed means nothing," he says.
The company is now ranking coverage and call and data connection reliability as well as speed. Moore says that his operation is trying to "make a public standard that everyone can understand."
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading