vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
EPIC HEXUS COMPETITION: Win a Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming graphics card! [x]
facebook rss twitter

EC gives the all clear for 2GHz 4G, widens pipes up to 1GHz

by Alistair Lowe on 6 November 2012, 10:45

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaborz

Add to My Vault: x

4G is a major step forward in the world of wireless internet for Europe, it offers significantly more speed than 3G over the same bandwidth, helping to speed internet connections and sooth network capacity woes.

However, following the turn of the millennium, 3G offered similar hopes of speed and capacity, however in dense areas now creeps to a halt, despite a full signal bar. Improvements may be achieved through obtaining a little more spectrum and slight adjustments to the protocol, however history has shown us that demand can happily outgrow these temporary measures.

It's with this in-mind that the European Commission has gone ahead and allowed the reuse of 120MHz of 3G-only 2GHz spectrum for 4G networks, with the band to become available by June 30th, 2014. The Commission is also considering the re-purposing of non-3G 2GHz bands, potentially offering-up a total of 1GHz spectrum to 4G in Europe.

European Commission

Placed in context, current 4G LTE technology provides 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload per 20MHz of bandwidth under perfect conditions. With 1GHz of bandwidth, there's a total of 5Gbps download and 2.5Gbps upload throughput in any one area with full coverage. This is of course distributed between all users in the area.

This move provides Europe and thus the UK, with even more bandwidth than the US, hopefully stemming the technology's inevitable slowdown before 5G comes along. Equally concerned, the US is also looking to free more spectrum in the future.



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
I'm due for an upgrade around June next year, right before the supposed 4G rollouts in the UK (I'm not sure EE counts, with their pathetic usages). I wonder if it'll be worth just getting another 2-year contract on 3G or holding out on a rolling contract for 4G.
My guess is 3G will be the default choice for most people until 2014 due to the carrier pricing.
s_kinton
My guess is 3G will be the default choice for most people until 2014 due to the carrier pricing.

How many phones really have the horsepower to use 4G data connections, it'll push the bottleneck back onto the CPU in most cases. Unless you've got a super high end phone and spend large amounts of time in city centres you're probably going to be fine with 3G until 2014-15. I couldn't give a toss about 4G at the moment, DC-HSPA seems good enough to me.
kingpotnoodle
How many phones really have the horsepower to use 4G data connections, it'll push the bottleneck back onto the CPU in most cases. Unless you've got a super high end phone and spend large amounts of time in city centres you're probably going to be fine with 3G until 2014-15. I couldn't give a toss about 4G at the moment, DC-HSPA seems good enough to me.

I see it more as ensuring speed under heavy contention. I often have a 3.5G signal full bars on my phone and get nothing from it.
kingpotnoodle
s_kinton
My guess is 3G will be the default choice for most people until 2014 due to the carrier pricing.
How many phones really have the horsepower to use 4G data connections, it'll push the bottleneck back onto the CPU in most cases. Unless you've got a super high end phone and spend large amounts of time in city centres you're probably going to be fine with 3G until 2014-15. I couldn't give a toss about 4G at the moment, DC-HSPA seems good enough to me.


DC-HSPA only offers throughput gains, not capacity. The clue is in the name; Dual-Carrier (or dual-cell, depending upon scenario). If you are in a congested area, the carriers will be in heavy use anyway, so 2xzip is still zip. LTE offers better spectral efficiency compared to UMTS, so you get more bits per Hz, and is designed to allow you to use a lot of spectrum for a connection. That, plus other enhancements in the way LTE is designed, gives you the capacity increase.

Pretty much the only way you can increase the capacity in UMTS now is adding more carriers (which is tricky given the quantity of spectrum the operators have) or more cells - either large macros which are hellishly expensive, or lots of small cells which are currently in test phase.

From the Smartphone perspective, LTE isn't going to be a massive deal until there is significant penetration, unless you are using data intensive services such as video streaming. There are other use cases for the tech beyond phones though.

UMTS isn't going away - GSM use is only just beginning to plateau, with some countries still using GSM as the dominant tech due to poor 3G phone penetration. If you're struggling with throughput on your 3G phone or have poor fixed broadband speed, LTE maybe the way to go today. If not, then I wouldn't let the availability of LTE sway a decision for picking up a new contract. LTE is coming, and will be better than anything UMTS has to offer, but there are still lots of deployment issues to overcome.