back to article WTF is... LTE Advanced?

Britain now has a 4G network, run by EE, and others are being rolled out. We’re behind the curve, though. The world’s first 4G network, based on the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) specification defined by mobile telecommunications standards-setter 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Project), went live at the very end of 2009, and …

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Unhappy

How about a reliable 2/3G?

Rather than pushing forwards with a 4G network, I'd quite like to be able to get a 2G signal in my house on all networks. Just outside Cambridge (Cambs), you think I could sit in my house and make a phone call without worrying about signal strength.

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Re: How about a reliable 2/3G?

Amen to that!

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Silver badge

Exactly

I'd love the ability to achieve a (say) 1Mb data rate the full length of the M11 or the rail links to London (or the west/east-coast mainlines, for that matter), rather than planning for pointlessly* high data rates that can both flatten a battery and exhaust your annual data allocation in a few minutes.

* For truly mobile applications - no doubt there are some areas where fixed lines aren't practical and a high-speed over-the-air link is truly useful.

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Thumb Up

Re: How about a reliable 2/3G?

Get a femtocell box.

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Re: How about a reliable 2/3G?

Not much use on the move!

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Pirate

Re: How about a reliable 2/3G?

"Not much use on the move!"

OP was complaining about coverage in his home.

Perhaps he has a caravan, camper or narrow boat.

I assumed none of the above.

(But Hope he flies the Jolly Roger if he's on a narrow boat!)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How about a reliable 2/3G?

4G is more efficient than 3G and saves operators money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Exactly

Every time there is a mobile mast application locally there is a huge campaign against it. "It's near a school" etc..

Don't blame the operators, blame the NIMBYs.

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Anonymous Coward

Efficiency?

Are You sure LTE (so called 4G) is more efficient than the current 3G offerings.

Efficiency = ( Number of Masts * Cost of Site & Mast ) / Total Bandwidth.

Then there is the issue of utilization. BT do over 10MB/s sustained. No peak time problems and the advertised rate is not just confined to the early hours of the morning. Three do mobile data at approx 3MB/s which is even good for high quality streaming to devices.

The so called 4G technology is just Late To Enter market.

PS: LTE wont be able to SHIFT the current 3G.

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Silver badge

Pointless at current caps

Really, how long till you blow your 500MB or whatever cap?

Unless this comes with a *much* lower cost per MB it is not getting my vote.

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Re: Pointless at current caps

Exactly. The carriers in the US are looking at business models on how to charge more per megabyte. I guess the high speed is good for them because one errant big download could make them a lot of money very quickly.

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Question.. on 4G...and beyond...

Hi all,

I'm ignorant on the subject of phone masts and how mobile technology work,

Do you guys ever think there will be a convergence of Wifi technolgy with phone technology into one wireless technology, where a device connects to the "best" connection available, be that my wireless network in my house, a public wireless network in a shop or the wider area network (in place of a cell tower). Legacy aside aren't newer "generations" treating phone calls like data?

Thanks,

Jonny

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Re: Question.. on 4G...and beyond...

@Jonny - what you are thinking about is certainly being worked on.

The crux of the problem is in defining the "best connection". Right now the "best connection" is based on a rudimentary list of preferrred networks that the mobile connects to them when it sees them.

You can guess that there are some tradeoffs to that network selection method, like connecting to the overloaded airport WiFi network when there are other network options that may have better end-to-end throughput. The networks don't provide a way for the client devices (which will be many-band, many-technology) to discover the capacity/capabilities of the network. There were some improvements to WiFi in the works to help.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Question.. on 4G...and beyond...

Wimax was the standard that was supposed to make Wifi more useful. It was supposed to be for "last mile" connections so you could get ADSL or similar without a phone line to your house.

Seems to have gone quiet though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX

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Stop

What's the point in increasing front-line radio data speed if the backhaul can't accommodate it? There are practically no websites that are going to transfer data to you at 1Gbit, never mind that most phones wouldn't be able to pull at that speed. I'm all for advances in technology but there is always seems to be a trade off between increasing data rate and decreasing viable range, and right now the world needs the latter, not the former.

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Anonymous Coward

Planning ahead perhaps? that 1GB stream is probably shared between multiple users, like broadband has contention.

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Awesome article

Just wanted to say thanks.

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Coat

"Remote Radioheads"

I guess you can hide them in fake plastic trees...

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Gold badge

Relay nodes...

VZW doesn't have relay nodes, but they have made extensive use of microwave backhaul for their LTE network. For 3G (EVDO gets 3.1mbps max in one 1.25mhz channel) as far as I know Verizon made minimal or no use of wireless backhaul for this buildout. When I first started using 3G, I'd go to plenty of rural areas and find a top speed of 1.5mbps, i.e. probably a T1 running to it (and later I think 2 T1s.) This was fine for 3G (at least it would guarantee 1mbps or so most of the time) but clearly wouldn't do for LTE. In cities there's all this fiber, metro ethernet, etc., up and they can probably get nice backhaul to most sites. Otherwise they've run backhaul where they can and used microwave for quite a few LTE sites.

They also have a few "extra" links as failsafes; I read last year they had a fiber line get cut in Alabama (or maybe it was Arkansas?), it took down their cell and data service for like a quarter of the state, for about 5 minutes. It took until the next day to fix the fiber, but they just "flipped the switch" and put all the traffic over the microwave link that spanned the break. The article said they had just installed the new microwave backhaul within the past few weeks, and had been planning to turn on automatic failover in a few weeks.

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Silver badge

Pff

The ssh terminal sessions from my phone to my UNIX boxes are already fast enough. Anything over 1200bps is idle luxury. Yon flabby bandwidth-gorging video-viewing punters will be the first to go when the apocalypse starts, mark my words!

(Seriously, better rural GSM coverage in the US, preferably from more than one company so there's some choice, would do me a hell of a lot more good than 1Gbps downloads. But I realize that's not where the market is, and no doubt some people have a productive use for that sort of throughput.)

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Anonymous Coward

Indoor reception is a challenge as it is. I can see a market for passive repeaters for the higher frequency microwave bands. Active repeater are too expensive.

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