Tag Archives: lte uk

iPhone 5 Release Date – 12th September 2012

The Apple iPhone 5 will be with us in the next few days and we can anticipate the usual rush for Apple fans to get their hands on this latest version of the popular smartphone.  Long queues outside Apple Stores and the endless quest online searching for the best mobile phone network plan to reduce the initial cost of owning this desirable smartphone.

However, this year you will now be able to get lightning fast 4G LTE services on your iPhone 5 because Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) have also launched their 4G LTE network in the UK offering download speeds up to 25Mbps using their 1800Mhz spectrum.  This means that when you are choosing your iPhone 5 4G LTE service provider then Orange and T-Mobile are going to be the networks of choice, leaving O2 and Vodafone loyalists with ‘slow’ 3G connectivity.  Will this perfect timing of 4G LTE network upgrade and the launch of the iPhone 5 LTE create a perfect storm for the UK mobile phone operators and users with a swing towards Orange and T-Mobile as the leading UK mobile phone operator, burgeoning their already huge customer base of over 28 million customers?

Like any 3G or 4G technology, the speed available using the new 4G LTE network with your 4G LTE Phone will depend upon the distance to the tower and the number of connected users downloading content at the same time.  In the USA, many users of Verizon’s 4G LTE Network report an average download speed of only 8Mbps which many users of existing 3G HSPA+ technology in the UK already report so 4G LTE may only offer slightly higher average data speeds.

Whilst this is all good new for the iphone 5 launch and the launch of the new 4G LTE Network, lets not forget that that high speed 4G LTE service could also be used to provide internet for the home and in recent 4G LTE trials using a 4G LTE modem (4G Dongle) users found that they could get a high speed mobile broadband connection which means that the 4G LTE Network needs new 4G hardware in the form a an LTE Router to enable users to insert their 4G LTE SIM Card into the router to get high speed mobile broadband to share in their home or business or a 4G LTE Travel Router to enjoy high speed mobile broadband on the go.

HTC EVO 4G LTE Smartphone

The new HTC EVO 4G LTE is the HTC EVO but better and faster than ever. As if its amazing camera, premium design, and astounding HD experience weren’t enough, it also has Beats Audio™ built in. Add the latest version of HTC Sense™, and you’ll fall in love with the HTC EVO all over again.

HTC EVO 4G LTE Smartphone

Amazing Camera Capture what you want. When you want. With instant capture, crystal-clear picture, and HD video, never miss a moment.

Authentic Sound Hear sound on a whole new level.  Beats Audio™ delivers a rich, authentic, experience that makes movies, music, and games sound like they never have before.

Premium Design Design is in the details. With an external dedicated camera button, HD screen protected with Corning® Gorilla® Glass, and the original HTC EVO kickstand for upright hands-free entertainment, these details make all the difference.

HTC Sense The oh-so-intuitive HTC Sense gives your phone personality and makes it more like you. Customize and shine the spotlight on what you love most.

Astounding Viewing Experience It’ll be hard to take your eyes off the screen with its vibrant colors and sharp picture. Virtually no reflection and extreme angle viewing make sure that you see every single detail.

LTE Networks are only just emerging in the UK so it will be a while before we can experience using an LTE Smartphone, but it is nice to dream and what is better at least we know with the UK marketplace starting to invest in 4G LTE Networks it won;t be long before we can take advantage of the 4G LTE network revolution and experience LTE Smartphones and the mobile internet as it should be.

Voice turns to Data

Have you noticed in the last year or so that you have been considering how you use your mobile device a little differently? The priority in your bundle used to be how many free minutes do I get? What is the calling rate between networks or to fixed lines? How many free texts do I get? etc.

Now we are starting to think a little more about how much data we are consuming on a monthly basis and what our priorities are. Consequently the operators are starting to do battle on the data limits, notably 3 who are offering unlimited downloads (read the small print re. fair usage) The fact is however, that although the networks have been striving for some time to get more data traffic and consequently revenues, essentially the networks of the last 10 – 15 years were designed primarily to support Voice. This is the case even with 3G. Data has been an add-on and always in contention with voice connections which have been the priority. After all, the money has been in voice and even now continues to be so.

This is causing the networks a quiet crisis as they struggle to keep pace with user demands and the rush of access products flooding the markets in both smart phones and dongles/routers. Within new LTE and 4G networks the intention is that all traffic will be carried as IP data. In this situation the payload can be voice, data, video, IM, whatever it will be handled within an ‘all IP’ connection driven infrastructure. When this becomes the case the way networks are billed with regard to Data will become ever more critical and even if traditional voice connections may well originate or terminate within traditional ‘non IP’ networks.

The considerable challenge of these new networks is the dynamic nature of the traffic. In the past capacity has been engineered on the basis of factored numbers of dedicated switched channels within an area or cell site. In the future it maybe more difficult to predict what sort of capacity is going to be needed at certain points when access devices can potentially run at high Mbit/s speeds and demand being non linear.

What remains to be seen is will the new networks deliver on their promises in terms of capacity and provide a sensible charging medium to reflect the value offered in an all IP data world?

The long road from Analogue to 4G mobile

From then to now?

Many many years ago when the yuppie hoard roamed the western world there came a really useful form of communications in the form of a portable phone. Portable was the description but it was more akin to ‘luggable’ and came in the form of a small suitcase or brief case connected to a car battery or similar. At the time they were the rich business man’s toy and remained so for some time with the key advantage being that you could tell your wife that you were on the way home and to put the dinner on! How things have changed over the last 25 years!

Analogue technology was very quickly replaced by Digital at the beginning of the 90’s and GSM was born. This was a natural evolution from a specification that was developed in the Nordic countries called NMT (Nordic Mobile Telecommunications). It was such a good fit that it became the major template for the new standard although the operating frequencies necessarily had to change. Operating frequencies and their availability remains a major theme of all development discussion in this space to this day and is likely to always remain so. Incidentally, this left two major telecoms vendors in a remarkably good position to supply the world with mobile terminals and Nokia and Ericsson started to clean up with one company becoming almost preeminent for the whole of the 90’s and even into the 00’s. But, as Nokia now know, nothing can ever be taken for granted.

What grew up behind this development was a battle between Europe /Asia and the USA and Japan. The major market developed in Europe and Asia and the USA lagged behind. Japan managed to maintain a considerable growth and innovation with their standards approach but it had little to do with the rest of the world and just made it a difficult market to enter for western suppliers. This is a whole historical piece on its own but is really just an interesting subject conversation and considered opinions as to how this period became so complicated.

Things are much clearer now however, or are they? Now we are heading through the 3G period, with 2G almost forgotten, (although used by us all on a daily basis) and with many improvements being layered on top of the old standard. Now we see HSPA in its two main varieties HSDPA and HSUPA, the D and the U in both cases standing for Download and Upload. These services provide High Speed access to mobile at and around fixed broadband speeds where network is available.

We are now moving slowly towards 4G and LTE services and these are expected in the UK in 2013 if all goes to plan. Briefly, LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is a subset of the overall 4G standard. As usual, there are standards, and there are standards; which leaves some confusion. The major hardware vendors are all rushing to get their interpretation of the ‘standard’ out there and working to prove a point and accelerate growth. Certain parts of Scandinavia, USA and Arabia are already starting to offer trial services although the terminals are not in the mass market yet.  The consideration of these standards and services requires considerable explanation but for now, let’s have a look at the quantum jump in speeds we can expect in the future if all works out perfectly – which it won’t!

 

 

Data   speeds  –  LTE   Advanced

Peak Download 1 Gbit/s
Peak Upload 500 Mbit/s

 

Data   speeds  –  LTE

 

 
Peak Download 100 Mbit/s
Peak Upload 50 Mbit/s

4G Router

With the roll out of 4G mobile broadband services in the UK using HSPA+ Network technology, mobile broadband providers have been able to offer high speed mobile internet services with download speeds up to 21Mbps.  To get the most out of these new super fast mobile broadband services you will need the new generation of 4G Modems and 4G Routers.

There are many 4G Modem products that offer a simple USB modem stick like the Option Icon 711 connection for a single user to connect to a USB port of their laptop for mobile data usage, but what if you need to connect your iPad, iPhone or other tablet or mobile phone?  You will need to use a travel router like the ZTE MF60 or the Zoom 4506 4G Travel Router.

You can continue to use your 4G USB Modem at home by connecting it into a 4G Router that will allow you to share your 4G USB Modem with multiple wired or wireless users, for example the Zoom 4501 4G Router will provide high speed wireless connectivity and 2 x 10/100 Ethernet ports for the connection of multiple PC’s, Tablets etc and by plugging in your 4G USB Modem they can all share the high speed mobile broadband connection.

The next step for 4G connectivity at home is the use of an embedded 4G router.  This means that the 4G SIM card is inserted directly into the router rather than plugging in a USB modem.  The advantage of this is that most 4G Routers have the option of connecting a 4G Antenna that can be mounted externally to provide a reliable 4G signal, especially when the router is positioned inside a building with poor signal reception.  4G Routers such as the Zalip CDG561WE and Option Globesurfer III+ are both available in the UK and can be used with impressive results on three mobile HSPA+ network.  There are sure to be many more embedded 4G routers available over the coming months as mobile operators start to roll out their 4G HSPA+ Networks.

Another option to consider in the future is the LTE Router – LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and includes 4G and HSPA+ technology but also includes things like WiMAX which offer high speed connectivity, but WiMAX networks are generally not available in the UK at present, but once the analogue TV spectrum gets sold then we can expect more WiMAX type services for delivery of mobile broadband offering speeds up tp 1000Mbps.  Other Euopean countries already offer WiMAX services and there are already WiMAX Routers and LTE Router products available.

LTE Forum

There is a new LTE Forum available for users to discuss all elements of LTE Long Term Evolution, including LTE Network, LTE Router, LTE Phone, LTE Hardware, LTE suppliers and LTE Applications.

The new LTE Forum is open for all users.