EE Shows Off Its Fastest 4G Speeds Yet

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Operator demos 400Mbps speeds in ‘the world’s fastest room’ at Wembley Stadium

EE has announced it will be launching its fastest mobile network to date, capable of download speeds of up to 400Mbps.

The operator has teamed up with Qualcomm and Huawei to demonstrate superfast LTE Category 9 speeds, never before seen outside of a controlled environment, at an event in Wembley Stadium yesterday.

EE also announced it would be extending its ‘4G+’ network, which offers smartphone download speeds of up to 150Mbps, to the iconic venue from late March, so football fans and concert-goers will be able to benefit from faster speeds than ever before.

EE WembleySpeedy

The operator is able to produce such speeds by combining three LTE carriers spectrum bans – 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum, 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum, and a further 15GHz of 2.6GHz spectrum.

“We have established ourselves as the most advanced and innovative network in Europe, and we will continue to stay ahead of the curve, in terms of both speed and capacity,” said Fotis Karonis, CTO at EE.

“Smarter devices with more data intensive video and audio demands are launching all the time, and it’s trials like these at Wembley Stadium that allow us to ensure EE customers continue to get the very best experiences from their mobile network now and in the future. This is a showcase of what a truly amazing 4G network can do, and is a big step in our ambition to make Wembley Stadium the most connected stadium in the world.”

The operator showed off the differences between 2G, 3G, and 4G speeds with an interactive concert experience. Utilising multiple 4K and HD screens and high quality audio streaming to stream footage of rock band The Killers playing at Wembley last year, the demo showed why speed and capacity are so important to a great mobile experience.

EE 4G+ demo wembleyThe demo (pictured right) was powered by a single device sporting Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 810 processor, which utilised its X10 LTE modem to support LTE Cat 9 speeds.

“Category 9 LTE-A delivers increased capacity across networks and incredibly fast download speeds, providing consumers with dramatically improved mobile connectivity and richer experiences that they are increasingly seeking, such as 4K,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president & president of Qualcomm Europe. “Qualcomm Technologies’ leading modem technology enables advancements in these areas and we’re proud to collaborate with Huawei and EE to demonstrate the future of connectivity.”

EE, which has six million customers in the UK first launched its 4G+ network, which uses Category 6 LTE, in parts of London last October, offering a theoretical maximum download speed of up to 300Mbps.

The operator is looking to expand the network to 20 of the busiest UK cities by 2017 as part of plans to invest £1.5bn in its network over the next three years.

Vodafone also launched a similar 4G+ network in London, Birmingham and Manchester in October, using its 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum, although it refers to the faster speeds as ‘4.5G’ and says the use of carrier aggregation will boost capacity and indoor coverage significantly.

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