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T-Mobile says the test used the now-usual palette of technologies to achieve the speeds, including:
Nokia "4.9G" powered by an AirScale basestation
A Snapdragon X20 LTE modem mobile test device, supporting downlink LTE Category 18 for theoretical peak download speeds up to 1.2 Gbit/s
12 independent streams of LTE data
4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM and three-carrier aggregation across 60MHz of downlink spectrum on T-Mobile's network
So how relevant is this to an actual user? Well, Qualcomm has previously said that a user with a compatible device will get between 100 Mbit/s and 300 Mbit/s on a real-world network. (See When Is a Gig Not a Gig? When It's Gigabit LTE!)
The whole push towards faster speeds and lower latencies on mobile 4G networks, however, could give some users pause about a switch-over to 5G as that arrives in 2018 and 2019. Especially as much of the early hype around 5G is concerned with fixed services, particularly in the US.
kq4ym, User Rank: Light Sabre 9/22/2017 | 2:20:50 PM
Re: Drag racing doesn't prove the best car either Yes, the drag races seem somewhat misleading for the real world. For a year or so I've had a service (SamKnows) that monitors the "real" speeds at my location hourly and compiles them with other internet users and sends the info to the FCC. Routinely the speeds I get are not as even advertised, and for some periods are way way below what they should be. Even with complaints to the FCC, there seems little that can be done to keep those speeds up to what we're paying for.
f_goldstein, User Rank: Moderator 9/11/2017 | 6:31:19 PM
Drag racing doesn't prove the best car either This game of bps drag racing is fun for a few, but not a good test of actual utility, efficiency, or policy. Each bit transmitted takes energy, so faster speeds on a mobile device will eat more battery juice. And each bit uses up spectrum, which is limited, especially given the government's auction-for-revenue mentality. Network usability, reliability, QoS, etc., aren't shown in drag race tests.
The value of information is proportionate to the log of its quantity; it's not linear, so you need to grow the bandwidth exponentially to make it noticeably better. At this point it's not clear why mobes need a faster burst rate than they already have. Sure, the FCC can show off fast numbers and claim they're doing something to make America grate again, but that isn't optimizing policy.
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