back to article 2.1Gbps speeds over LTE? That's not a typo, EE's already done it

Engineers at EE recently managed to get speeds of 2.1Gbps out of a trial LTE deployment, according to Tom Bennett, the British telco’s director of network services and devices. “Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s the fastest anyone’s got LTE to go anywhere,” Bennett told the world’s tech press at Huawei’s Global Mobile …

  1. AndrueC Silver badge

    EE managed to get speeds over LTE of up to 400Mbps in Wembley Stadium

    What's the contention like? I bet if it was full of spectators they'd not all be able to get that at the same time. That's the achilles heal of all wireless technologies.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: contention

      It's probably a maximum for one user using carrier aggregation and an impressive MIMO array. In reality it would be the total available to all. There'd be some tricks to play with beam steering to make it a bit better, and in a stadium there might be a streaming broadcast channel for event specific feeds (e.g. goal replays and the like), which would add some efficiency for some and cap resources further for others not looking at that.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: contention

        Yes, probably "bonding" or aggregation of carriers even from multiple base stations and sectors as well as channels, with a perfect signal. Nothing to do with real world performance.

        You could nearly get 400Mbps aggregating all the 900MHz channels of entire band using GSM EDGE (1Mbps per 0.2MHz channel is easy), with a specialist DSP receiver. Without details of terminal used, aerials, base-stations, channel width, number of channels, signal power and interference levels, this is a totally meaningless claim.

    2. Blotto Bronze badge

      contention also applies for home wired (XDSL/DOCSIS/FIBRE) connections too.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        "contention also applies for home wired (XDSL/DOCSIS/FIBRE) connections too."

        Yes, but there you can easily avoid it by propper network planning. With wireless networks (and DOCSIS) you have severe physical limitations.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge

        contention also applies for home wired (XDSL/DOCSIS/FIBRE) connections too.

        True but with proper planning (esp ducting) you can just stick another cable in the ground. Especially with fibre optic due to lack of cross-talk concerns. Wireless on the other hand is using a finite resource. Signal propagation and information carrying characteristics means that we don't have an infinite range of frequencies available. And of course there's a lot of existing applications already using chunks of it.

        We're already struggling to allocate frequencies and having to use strategies like white space use. Beam shaping might also help although I'm not sure I fancy having a mast following me around and beaming a signal straight at me :-/

        and DOCSIS

        Yes although they seem to be managing to extend it so far. Exactly how far they can push it before they have to replace it with fibre is anyone's guess. I was looking at some white papers last week and amazingly it sounded like they have it covered for a while yet. Then again they were papers from those selling the head-ends and nodes so possibly a little biased :)

        1. Mage Silver badge

          DOCSIS & Cable / Coax

          Chop cable up and add fibre fed cabinets. The Coax is MUCH better than copper Cat3 from a street cabinet. A nieghbourhood that had one cable can be easily a fibre cabinet per street, feeding maybe only one side or half a side per coax instead of one area. Also "downlink" can easily be 750MHz wide, at MUCH higher QAM than Wireless, as the interference can be lower and power higher, it can be easily a total of 10 Gbps per coax on downlink. The Uplink total might though be under 300 Mbps per coax segment.

          Hybrid Fibre Cable HFC. Even Ireland has it now.

          Coax can be extended above the 862MHz on shorter runs, 100m can support up to 2GHz ultimately, giving a capacity on downlink per coax of 30Gbps. Cat 3 Twisted pair is only 100Mbps / 200Mbps on very short runs, at the sort of length often used for coax, Cat3 phone cable is 5Mbps to 25Mbps, though that's not shared. Even forty to 1 contention on a single coax is pretty good performance, reliably giving 200Mbps per user at peak times.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: DOCSIS & Cable / Coax

            Look up, cat3 copper can do up a gigabit if you have a cabinet on every block like you're talking about. Of course the cable company's coax is better and can do even higher speeds, but since the cat3 copper is dedicated to each home (and there's pretty much no reason a home needs a gigabit, let alone 10 gigabit) it is a wash. Ideally you'd have them both - competition will lower prices for everyone!

        2. Christian Berger Silver badge

          "Exactly how far they can push it before they have to replace it with fibre is anyone's guess."

          Actually not, Information theory provides us with ways to precisely determine the maximum rate of information over a channel given the SNR and the bandwidth. Depending on what values you assume (how much the old 1980s cables have rotten away) you get somewhere in the double digit Gigabit range, a tiny fraction of what you can get today via fiberoptic cables.

  2. Mage Silver badge


    This is all completely irrelevant to the real world, and replacement of Tetra. Tetra is poor for Data. But LTE and terminals do not yet meet all the other needs of Emergency services. It's not just about coverage either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hype

      like what?

      1. Ejit

        Re: Hype

        IIRC Mission Critical Push to Talk is not yet ready, although the standard might be signed off next year.

      2. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Hype

        Probably stuff like point to point connections without going through much infrastructure, which can be quite handy for the emergency services. Plus there's some phone/software stuff for group messaging which may need extras in the cell sites but I'm not sure.

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Hype

          Probably stuff like point to point connections without going through much infrastructure, which can be quite handy for the emergency services.

          That falls so far short of what TETRA offers now that it really isn't worth considering. In fact it falls well short of what the legacy radio systems that TETRA replaced provided. "Quite handy" simply doesn't cut it.

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge

            Re: Hype

            That was my point. There are features in tetra that are not available in lte, but will need shoe horning into additional specs as the emergency services need then at times.

            1. Commswonk Silver badge

              Re: Hype

              What a strange way of expressing things. The Group Call is probably the core function of emergency communications and TETRA; it is not an "additional specification" that the "emergency services need at times".

              TETRA equipment was built to meet the ETSI TETRA Specification; the specification was not written so that it fitted what existing equipment could do. Any attempt to make a viable ESN by trying to slot requirements into an existing technology will almost certainly fail; the technology (i.e. the equipment) must be a logical extension of the operational requirements and the specifications drawn up based on those requirements.

              1. JetSetJim Silver badge

                Re: Hype

                It's additional to LTE, not present in any of the 3gpp specs for it. Ergo it needs shoehorning into the lte specs as the infrastructure for "eTETRA" is lte. These features are requirements of the emergency services that are/were not present in the lte specs. That's all I've been saying, however flippantly

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They probably need all that bandwidth

    to handle their complaints traffic

    1. jockmcthingiemibobb

      Re: They probably need all that bandwidth

      You're not kidding. Popped back to blighty for a visit and had the misfortune of picking the EE SIM card at a Heathrow vending machine. Crap coverage aside, can't say I've experienced such a mind knumbing clusterfark as EE's call center.

  4. ecofeco Silver badge

    4G speeds are already good and more is better, but...

    Now lets talk about sub-standard tower maintenance.

    All that speed means nothing if the local towers are not maintained.

  5. moonrakin

    At Wembley?

    right -oh....

    A Sky Sports will be using LTE for match/event content acquisition ....

  6. Andy Tunnah

    Unlreated to the story but..

    ..does anyone know the brand of lipstick the lad in the stock photo is using on his bottom lip because that is just a fantastic colour

  7. Brian Miller

    It's for our overlords, not the rabble...

    "In the future Bennett sees mobile operators targeting the AI and robotics markets..."

    The good stuff is always reserved for those at the apex. Our robotic overlords shall require the bandwidth, for it is their dominion to rule over us, and their language shall be cat videos.

    All hail the coming of Zeroth!

  8. JJKing Silver badge

    Everything gets faster.

    Ah yes, my porn comes faster and so shall I, oops..............

  9. Rob Daglish

    On a different topic...

    What the hell is that face supposed to convey? The photographer stood there and said "OK, show me ...." what? Suprise? Incredulity? Lobotomy?

    On topic, EE have always been OK coverage wise for me, and I've never had a problem with their customer service. My wife has had terrible experiences with them, on the same contract. YMMV

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