London’s Tech City has become the first place to be covered by what EE claims is the world’s fastest 4G mobile network.
The new network running LTE-Advanced technology, which is capable of reaching 300Mbps speeds, will be rolled out across London throughout 2014, but in December, companies from the Tech City area will be selected for customer trials of mobile Wi-Fi before it becomes commercially available.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee launched the network at the Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, organised by Chinese technology company Huawei which is providing the LTE-Advanced technology.
Swantee said: “Today we are introducing the next age of 4G mobile technology to the UK. Our existing 4G network delivers incredible mobile data speeds and covers millions of people across the country, but we never stand still. We know that mobile data usage is going to keep increasing, and rapidly so.
“Our analysts predict that data usage will grow significantly over the next three years. In fact, our trend-mapping shows that data usage is set to rise by 750 per cent in that period, as consumers and companies conduct more of their business and lives on-line.
“The network we’re switching on today in Tech City uses the spectrum that we acquired in the Ofcom spectrum auction earlier this year, and is the first part of an infrastructure that can meet the future demands of an increasingly data-hungry nation, enabling us to stay one-step ahead of the demand.”
The LTE-Advanced platform deployed by Huawei, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 300Mbps, relies on carrier aggregation – bringing together 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum.
Victor Zhang, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei UK said: “Today’s announcement is not only a vital step in the future of the UK’s mobile broadband infrastructure, it is also an important moment for Huawei’s UK business.
“We have been operating in the UK for twelve years and are committed to improving the national telecommunications infrastructure for the whole population. We are proud to have worked closely with EE as we grow our business in the UK following our pledge to invest £1.3bn into the economy over the next five years.”
Huawei says the LTE-Advanced device ecosystem is developing rapidly and the first commercially available Mobile Wi-Fi units are expected to be introduced by Huawei in Q2 2014, with handsets to follow in the second half of the year.
Customer trials will use a CAT6 Huawei router – the first device of its kind in the world - which can provide a high speed mobile Wi-Fi connection to up to twenty devices, and devices enabled with 802.11ac can access speeds as high as 200Mbps.