EE is offering 429Mbps 4G+ in London and Cardiff – but not many will be able to use it just yet
EE now offers the fastest ‘real world’ 4G+ speeds in the UK, serving up 429Mbps to customers in Cardiff and London’s Tech City.
To get the maximum rate you’ll need a device with Cat16 LTE but the only smartphone equipped with the standard that is currently available is the Sony Xperia XZ Premium – somewhat limiting the upgrade’s usefulness.
However more devices will be released in the future and EE says most users in the areas will be able to enjoy speeds of 50Mbps.
“What we’ve demonstrated live in Cardiff is more than ten times the average mobile download speed. We’re rolling out this new capability in Cardiff and London’s Tech City, and we’ll keep expanding to the busiest areas of the UK so that our customers always have a great connection to do the things they love.”
The upgrade was achieved by using carrier aggregation technology, which marries 30MHz of 1800MHz spectrum with 35MHz of 2.6GHz airwaves. The former uses 4×4 MIMO to use four signals instead of two for a more efficient connection and the application of 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) maximises spectrum efficiency.
EE has committed to extended geographic coverage of 4G to 95 percent of the UK landmass by 2020 and should reach 92 percent by the end of the year. In urban areas, the challenge is boosting capacity as mobile data consumption skyrockets.
The BT-owned operator has held a number of technical pilots in Tech City because the high concentration of technology firms is likely to mean higher rates of adoption. Cardiff has been an area of recent focus because of the UEFA Champions League Final last week and is now host to the UK’s most powerful base station.
EE has confirmed the next locations for its 429Mbps 4G+ service will be Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.