First commercial LTE network underwhelming

January 26, 2010 | 14:06

Tags: #35g #3g #4g #gprs #hsdpa #hspa #hsupa #long-term-evolution #lte #mobile-broadband #rd-3 #wireless-broadband

Companies: #nokia #samsung #teliasonera

The first in-the-wild LTE (Long Term Evolution) mobile network appears to be leaving users underwhelmed, with speeds a far cry from the promised 100Mb/s.

As reported over on Unwired View, tests carried out by Swedish management consultancy Northstream have revealed that the downstream bandwidth available on TeliaSonera's 4G LTE service in Oslo and Stockholm never exceeds 12Mb/s - significantly lower than the 100Mb/s that was promised at the launch of the service.

While 12Mb/s sustained throughput is precisely what Nokia promised from their RD-3 4G modem, there has to be a certain disappointment felt from the fact that the promised 100Mb/s peak speeds are nowhere to be seen.

The company also make mention in their report of "rather frequent drops in service, even at locations where the signal strength indicators were maxed out just a second earlier," which could be put down to the immaturity of the LTE network - hopefully it's something that will improve as the area covered increases. The dropouts were so bad at one point that the company made the decision to use the HSPA modem that was provided free of charge as part of their packages, which provided similar downstream bandwidth "but without the drops."

It's not all bad news, though: the tests - which were carried out using Samsung's GT-B3710 LTE modem - showed an extremely impressive 5Mb/s upstream speed, which is significantly higher than that enjoyed by many wired broadband customers.

Northstream's final word on the matter: "good things come to those who wait a little bit longer."

Would the availability of a 4G LTE network convince you to go completely wireless for your broadband, or has Northstream's experience put you off the idea - at least until the technology matures? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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