A full-scale UK next-gen mobile network came a step closer today with Huawei announcing a successful live trial of LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology with O2, while Ericsson launched what it claims to be the world's first 4G network in Stockholm.
Huawei, a provider of next-generation telecom solutions, carried out the trial at the Slough headquarters of O2, during which speeds of 150Mbit/s were achieved.
The chief technology officer of O2 UK, Derek McManus, said the trial would help the company better understand this emerging technology and prepare customers for the next generation of mobile broadband services.
Meanwhile, Ericsson said that it had launched the world's first and largest commercial mobile 4G broadband network.
Centred on Stockholm, the LTE-based service is available to customers of mobile operator TeliaSonera via Samsung LTE dongles.
LTE is the next generation of mobile communications technology and allows for the transfer of huge amounts of data, offering speeds akin to fibre through a wireless network.
Ericsson said that with decreased latency, users of the network will be able to access everything from HD video to network games while on the move.
Richard Thurston, an analyst from Analysys Mason, said he believes LTE has huge potential and will bring many benefits to businesses.
"LTE is likely to bring much faster speeds, from 20Mbit/ to 80Mbit/s depending on network deployment, to UK businesses when it's available. In addition, latency should be less than on 3G networks, which will help business applications," he said.
However, Thurston pointed out that coverage in the UK will probably be limited to dense urban areas at first and that UK businesses will have to wait much longer than their Nordic counterparts for the first LTE services.
He explained that in the UK the two frequency bands critical to LTE, 2.6GHz and 800MHz, will not be auctioned until late 2010 at the earliest.
"We don't expect to see much in the way of service before the fourth quarter of 2011 at the earliest," he concluded.
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