In an extremely candid blog post over at Three UK, we’re given the inside scoop on the network’s plans to roll-out 4G here in the UK. Rather than dwell on the exciting fact that a summer roll-out looks to be in-place and deals have been agreed for full LTE in 2013, Phil Sheppard honestly explains that Three’s summertime ‘4G’, isn’t actually 4G.
What do we mean? In the States, the term 4G was bastardised, with LTE representing true 4G and clocked download speeds in the 75 Mbps mark. What’s coming to Three is the same technology that’s found on T-Mobile’s “4G” network in the US. An industry leading version of HSPA+. This version of 4G will bring with it download speeds of 42Mbps, twice what it currently is, but still no LTE or true 4G.
Is this HSPA+ 4G a stop gap fix? Yes – but a commendable one. Three are investing in this stop-gap to improve services while they test out their real LTE in the next few months. Full LTE can be expected in 2013 at the earliest with the HSPA+ 4G currently being trialled in parts of London for a nationwide summertime launch.