Nokia has announced results from a real-world test of a new fourth-generation mobile broadband technology, dubbed Long-Term Evolution or LTE. The tests saw the service reaching speeds of 173Mb/s in realistic scenarios.
The prototype base station for the LTE radio system was installed at the top of the Heinrich Hertz Institute
building in Berlin, a location known to cause mobile users problems due to interference. Testing the technology with multiple simultaneous users Nokia was still able to reach 173Mb/s, and the mobile phone giant is touting that as a realistic approximation for actual user-end throughput when the service eventually goes live.
LTE was also tested for range, with equipment installed on cars travelling up to 1KM away from the base station able to use the broadband service without a problem.
The main appeal of the technology from the point of view of the networks looking to implement 4G technology is that the LTE system doesn't require new equipment beyond the base station itself. Matthais Reiss, head of the LTE Business Program at Nokia, said in a public statement that "we now have evidence that future LTE networks can run on existing base station sites and mobile operators can build LTE networks without requiring new antenna sites.
The actual figures Nokia is currently using in their marketing for the technology are 100Mb/s downstream and 50Mb/s upstream, with the trial showing that this should be expected (exceeded, even) in normal usage scenarios. These speeds compare favourably with the closest competitor, WiMAX, which runs at 70Mb/s downstream and 70Mb/s upstream in best-case scenarios.
Is this level of connection something which floats your boat or are you still struggling to think of a mobile application which could possibly make use of such bandwidth? Let us know via the forums