300Mbps LTE upgrade goes live next month in London’s Tech City, but operator says benefits won’t be seen on smartphones until the middle of next yearEE this month unveiled what it claims to be the world’s fastest 4G network of 300Mbps – but admits smartphones users won’t experience the benefits for another seven months.
EE’s latest network upgrade, ‘LTE Advanced’ (built by Huawei), goes live to selected business partners in London’s Tech City area next month providing “theoretical” speeds of up to 300Mbps – the fastest on the planet.
‘LTE Advance’ uses a technology called ‘carrier aggregation’ which allows mobile signals to be carried across different spectrum simultaneously. EE will use the 20MHz of 1800MHz and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum purchased in the £2.34 billion spectrum auction this year
However EE CEO Olaf Swantee has warned current 4G smartphones are not built to handle such speeds, and will overheat.
Currently, access to EE’s Advanced network, which will be rolled out commercially beyond Tech City early next year, is only possible through Huawei’s CAT6 router – which can provide a high speed mobile Wi-Fi connection to up to twenty devices.
Swantee said EE is working with a number of smartphone manufacturers to resolve the heat issue, and expects the first compatible smartphones to be ready during mid-2014.
Swantee said: “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.
“The new network we’re switching on in Tech City uses the spectrum that we acquired in the Ofcom spectrum auction earlier this year, and is the first part of an infrastructure that can meet the future demands of an increasingly data-hungry nation
“In the initial stage we will be using fixed routers, because that is the only equipment that can use these kinds of speeds.
“We are already working with a number of smartphone providers – and we believe that we can bring smartphones to the UK that are leveraging 300Mbps.
“Those speeds generate a lot of heat and manufacturers have quite a lot of work to do in the next few months and we are working with them to make that possible.”