O2 Testing 4G Mobile Broadband Network (UK)

The massive UK mobile phone and broadband network of O2, along with telecommunications provider Huawei, have uploaded a video onto YouTube showing the next generation of mobile broadband, which is commonly known as 4G.

The video showed a test of the connection involving activities such as streaming high definition video over the web. The test showed speed results of just 8Mbps, much less than the potential 150Mbps that was earlier forecast.

However, this is of course a step in the right direction. At this 8Mb speed we can compare these mobile networks to the average-Joe’s home broadband speed. Other possibilities in the video are real time gaming made available through the 4G networks low latency.

Online gaming and streaming HD content suggest that a connection speed of 5Mb is necessary for basic operation. So this news brings a great amount of hope for the future of mobile devices and their network speeds, particular for those using O2 mobile broadband. Of course, it still relies on good network coverage, but hopefully that will also improve over time too.

Currently, the highest 3G speeds come from Vodafone which are claimed to cap at 7.2Mbps. The rest of the networks are still lagging behind at just 3.6. Therefore we can see instantly, that the first real test of the new networks exceed anything provided by the current 3G networks.

Obviously this is most definitely the early stages of the new technology. We are in fact many years away from real implementation of the network, with humungous costs and other great factors standing in the way.

So with news of the Tories planning 100Mbps home broadband speeds on the way before 2017 if they get into power, will this new testing shift the attention away from home broadband even more so. With networks supposedly capable of such high speeds on mobile devices being readily available, it will take a lot more than 100Mb to sway people towards investing in ridiculous speeds for their household. The real reports coming out of these tests show a maximum connection speed at 47Mbps already.

Clearly, there is no need for real excitement just yet. There is a long way to go, but as I said earlier it is definitely a step in the right direction for O2 mobile broadband, particularly with 3G coverage being either slow or completely unreliable in many areas in its current implementation.

Via – ZDNet


  1. May martinez says


    I found this website very interesting!
    Especially the articles about 4G technologies.

    I’m doing a rsearch project about 4G and I wonder what are the main features and applications that could be ineresting to analyse.

    What are the differences of 4G from 3G in term of applications.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you


  2. Rob says


    as far as i know, 4G is simply going to be a long term replacement for the existing 3G networks. I presume it will simply be an upgrade in terms of connection speed for mobile devices. It will cater especially for the growing amount of people looking to stream HD content whilst on the move (youtube are now up to 720p). It will mean a lot more people look to mobile devices rather than broadband speeds if it lives up to its promise. I wouldn’t hold your breath for the next few years though.


  3. Mabhinzi Dandira says

    If it’s going to be years before implementation of 4G in the UK then I suppose it will be years before we get the soon to be released iPhone 5 which is being designed for 4G networks. If the US is already implementing 4G, I’m sure it’s a matter of a year or 2 before UK networks start implementation.

    I recogn noone will be using home broadband in a matter of 5 years, mobile broadband would be something in the region of 500mps or even 1gig, if the current rate of growth is anything to go by.

    I know I sound overly optimistic but if you had told anyone of 3G 8 years ago, they’d have called you a dreamer.

  4. Rob Nichols says

    @Mabhinzi Dandira

    If I’m honest I don’t think it will be that soon before we’re all using mobile networks. For starters, the reliability of signal will continue to provide an issue, because there just aren’t enough signal towers to cover the whole country in networks capable of speeds like that. With a network of fibre-optic cables still in the throws of being implemented, I think we’ll be seeing a few gigs per second home broadband long before people choose to switch off.

    Also, with the wired infrastructure we each have our own bandwidth allocated from an almost unlimited amount by the ISP, however with mobile signal we’d each be competing with our neighbours for a network connection, and there won’t be enough bandwidth to allow everyone to be catered for all of the time.

    Lastly, I don’t think the lack of 4G will prevent us from getting any hardware, particularly the iPhone. All 4G devices in the States are 3G capable, so I imagine Apple will do the same thing there and we’ll have either a redundant 4G antenna (doubtful) or more likely, a modified iPhone for just 3G.

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