RootMetrics: Faster 4G LTE Coming Soon

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."

The CEO should know: He has been over in London testing out EE 's 2x10MHz LTE network.

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.

To that end, RootMetrics has been updating its RootScore rating and coverage maps.

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

milan03 10/7/2013 | 10:19:57 PM
Re: smaller carriers, smaller channels Actually, Leap has quite a few markets with 3x3Mhz LTE.

And Verizon should have 20Mhz FDD LTE live this year in quite a few markets.
DanJones 10/7/2013 | 4:49:48 PM
Re: smaller carriers, smaller channels Yeah, 2014 seems like it could be the year of channel-bounding/carrier aggregation for 4G LTE.
Sarah Thomas 10/7/2013 | 4:35:18 PM
smaller carriers, smaller channels Leap and MetroPCS started at a disadvantage -- both operate LTE on 5x5 channels, but should get a boost by their new owners. 
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