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.