Everything Everywhere expects 4G speeds on phones to be around 5-7 times faster than 3G once launched in the UK.
Speaking to Recombu Digital, Tom Bennett, director of network services and device development at Everything Everywhere told us that: “We expect 4G speeds to be 5-7 times faster than 3G.”
Current 3G mobile broadband speeds average at 2.1Mbps according to the last Ofcom figures. This would put estimated speeds at 10.1Mbps and 14.7Mbps over 4G.
In tandem, Everything Everywhere has completed rollout of HSPA+21 (3.5G) and is currently rolling out HSPA+42, which should be completed by the end of the year. These will see data speeds for mobile broadband customers increase by 50 to 100 per cent.
Everything Everywhere: In optimal lab conditions, 4G could provide 100Mbps
Participants in Everything Everywhere’s 4G live trial in Threlkeld, Cumbria have reported download speeds of 20Mbps using fixed-location equipment. This gives us a reasonable idea of how fast things can get, but its worth noting that speeds vary depending on location and congestion.
In optimal conditions, the top speeds achievable on 4G would be 100Mbps. However it’s unlikely that this speed will be achieved by any customers, whether they’re using 4G on their phones or via fixed-location routers.
“Theoretically, it is possible to reach 4G speeds of up to 100Mbps in lab conditions,” Bennett added. “However outside of these ideal conditions data speeds can vary due to a number of factors including the number of people using the network, and physical factors such as distance to a mast, building density and geographical terrain.”
Everything Everywhere therefore won’t be quoting any theoretical top speeds when it launches its 4G services, due to the wide number of variables. Even though Cumbria has been reporting 20Mbps speeds, overall performance will vary depending where you are, making accurately advertising a top speed tricky.
We know it's going to be a while before we see 4G hitting the UK. The spectrum allocation debates between Ofcom, the networks and Freeview continues to drag. In the meantime it’s good to at least have an idea at how fast 4G will be once we get it.