Video: 3G Vs 4G On EE

EE, the mobile star formerly known as Everything Everywhere, has today launched the first 4G network in the UK. It’ll be available to some customers by the end of the year, and 98 percent of the nation by 2014, according to the firm.

Even though EE is the owner of both Orange and T-Mobile, customers of these providers will not be able to access the 4G network. But what is it exactly that they will be missing out on?

3G vs 4G – a factor of five?

According to EE, 4G is five to six times faster than 3G. To prove a point, the operator pitted 3G vs 4G this morning. In two separate downloads of Angry Birds, the LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy SIII on the right is shown to be significantly faster than the 3G-enabled model on the left.

Of course, the 3G network had more traffic going through it and the 4G connection was being powered along by a Huawei Wi-Fi hotspot, so the comparison is slightly unfair. But you can see there is still a massive difference between the two.

EE has claimed its network will allow for download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds of 15Mbps. Other tests at this morning’s launch saw 4G-enabled phones hitting speeds of almost 30Mbps. On 3G, you’re lucky if you get above 1Mbps.

For businesses who want to truly enable mobile working and BYOD schemes, 4G should bring plenty of benefits. It’ll certainly be a boon to companies running data-intensive projects.

By the end of the year, 16 cities, including London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Edinburgh, Belfast, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Southampton, Hull, Nottingham and Derby will all be covered, to some extent, by EE’s 1800MHz 4G network.

The company will also be bidding for additional 4G-compatible spectrum in the Ofcom-organised auction, due to take place at the end of this year. So expect more in the 4G space from EE soon.

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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