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UK Mobile Network Starts LTE-A Trials in East London

UK based EE is switching on what it says in the world’s fasted 4G network, which will go live in a tech-hub in East London.

The network upgrade will be running LTE-A and will initially cover London’s Tech City. The LTE-A network will then be rolled out across London throughout 2014.

Huawei is the technology vendor for the upgrade project.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “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-A network will be rolled out across London throughout 2014. In December, local companies from the Tech City area will be selected to become exclusive EE partners, enabling them to experience the service before it becomes commercially available when compatible devices launch from mid-2014.

The new network innovation, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 300Mbps, is enabled by carrier aggregation – bringing together 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum.

However, despite the headline grabbing claims of 300Mbps download speeds, that is theoretical maximum which is never actually achieved. Also, the sole device available to users is the CAT6 Huawei router, which is limited to 200Mbps.

It is expected that the first commercially available Mobile Wi-Fi units will be introduced by summer 2014, also by Huawei, with handsets to follow in the second half of the year.

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