4G not fast enough? EE switches on 300Mbps LTE-Advanced

In a partnership with China-based Huawei, EE has announced today that it will be bringing LTE-Advanced technology – capable of 300Mbps – to “Tech City” in London.

Unveiled at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum; the innovation follows the company’s internal analysis of consumer and business trends - forecasting a data-usage rise of 750% over the next three years.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee says: “Today we are introducing the next age of 4G mobile technology to the UK. Our existing 4G network delivers incredible mobile data speeds and covers millions of people across the country, but we never stand still.”

He continues: “We know that mobile data usage is going to keep increasing, and rapidly so.”

Whilst launching to selected companies within the Tech City area (also known as ‘Silicon Roundabout’) the plans are to rollout gradually across the UK. In December, these companies will become “EE partners” which enables them to experience the service before it becomes commercially available.

Most of the latest devices on the market support LTE, but only a specialised version of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is able to use the Advanced network – exclusively available in South Korea.

EE’s partner in the venture, Huawei, will be launching LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi units in the second quarter of 2014 to take advantage of the theoretical 300Mbps speeds.

But considering LTE is barely rolling out the door from any carrier other than EE, are these increased speeds really necessary? Olaf Swantee says: “Increased bandwidth across the network enables a new approach to outside broadcast for media companies, as a small number of 4G SIMs can replace an entire satellite truck and the rental of a satellite connection.”

He continues to say: “4K TV is the future, and LTE-A makes it possible to support that on a mobile network. BBC iPlayer streams at 5Mbps, whereas 4K TV will stream at 20Mbps, so a consistently high average speed, enabled by sufficient capacity on the network, is essential.”

EE’s 4G network is available in (as of writing) 30 of the UK’s 69 cities – covering over 60% of the UK’s population.

Rival network, O2, kicks off in London, Leeds and Bradford - with 4G in Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leicester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester, and Sheffield by the end of the year.

Vodafone launches initially only in London - with Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield following.

Three's coverage is just getting started. By the end of 2013 it aims to have Birmingham, London, Manchester and Reading covered, as well as Oldham, Dudley, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. Over the course of 2014, 42 other cities will be added.

What do you think of EE’s LTE-Advanced testing? Showing good promise for the future?

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