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First commercial LTE network underwhelming

First commercial LTE network underwhelming

The speeds experienced by management consultancy Northstream have left them underwhelmed by TeliaSonera's LTE network.

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.

13 Comments

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Jenny_Y8S 26th January 2010, 14:16 Quote
So is the network limited the speed or the modem?
dolphin-promotions 26th January 2010, 14:24 Quote
I would imagine the network speeds of wired broadband will always be better than wireless, so when possible I would sooner stick with wired.
licenced 26th January 2010, 14:52 Quote
Even if sustained throughput speeds are good (12Mbps twice as fast as my broadband connection!), it's the wildly varying ping times that affect connections more on mobile data - having to wait sometimes up to eight seconds for a web page to even start loading when I have a good HSPA connection currently will never convince me to switch.

That and the fact that mobile operators can't even seem to keep a stable high speed connection up anyway - my phone is constantly disconnecting or dropping to GPRS even in central London.

I'd rather they focussed on increasing stability with existing speeds first.
Gonzalo-Gonads 26th January 2010, 15:39 Quote
Sweden already has one of the most stable and best 3g networks. I've gone months using a 3g modem on my laptop without dropping to edge!
Xir 26th January 2010, 15:39 Quote
Meh...let them get up a network with natio / europewide 3G first, then we can talk about the next generation.

We're happy if EDGE works...let alone 3G or HSPA
Drexial 26th January 2010, 16:01 Quote
Maybe just coincidence.... but 100 Mb/s is 12.5 MB/s..... maybe a mathematical confusion?

I am pretty sure someone would notice that though.
Er-El 26th January 2010, 16:02 Quote
12Mb/s, i.e. 'megabytes' per second! That's still really good. I'm on a 10mbps connection right now which equates to about 1.2megabytes per second and would do anything for a broadband connection like that.
paisa666 26th January 2010, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Er-El
12Mb/s, i.e. 'megabytes' per second! That's still really good. I'm on a 10mbps connection right now which equates to about 1.2megabytes per second and would do anything for a broadband connection like that.

MB = MegaBytes

Mb = Megabits

as you say is really really good, and like Drexial points out it could be a confusion there, mybe someone was talking about Mb and the later about MB
DarkLord7854 26th January 2010, 17:19 Quote
I wish people would stop being ignorant by calling LTE 4G. LTE is not 4G, it's more like 3.9G, but it's not 4G.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution


Either way, the speed they got is very impressive, you never get anywhere near the maximum throughput.
Denis_iii 26th January 2010, 18:53 Quote
wonder what the avg latencys are, personally i'd be happy with 2Mb/s with sub 10ms latency
metarinka 26th January 2010, 19:50 Quote
wish i could get 12mb/s WIRED connection in the US. only offered in a few major markets. It's ridiculous how far behind we are on internet speed compared to the rest of the western world.
TomH 26th January 2010, 20:28 Quote
This is old news, but what I do remember from the story (that's noticeably absent from this write-up) was that whilst the bandwidth throughput was low, the latency was pretty awesome and getting on to be very similar for the latency over your average ADSL line.

Also, why so surprised? Anyone seen how pathetic the WiMAX options are here in the UK?
Dave Lister 27th January 2010, 10:11 Quote
"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."

Yep it's quicker than the 1.5mb/s average that i get with my virgin fibre optic broadband !
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