Think your 4G mobile internet is quick? Well wait until you get to try Gigabit LTE.
EE, alongside the mobile chip maker Qualcomm and Sony have announced that their tests involving a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone and EE’s network hit the astonishing download speeds of 750mbps, with upload speeds topping out at over 110Mbps.
Those are astonishing numbers, made even more impressive that they aren’t theoretical – they were achieved using a phone available for customers today in a real venue – London’s Wembley Stadium.
The phone itself was Sony’s top of the line Xperia XZ Premium, which was the first phone in the UK to be Cat 16 compliant and therefore the only one which can currently make use of Gigabit LTE. It was hooked up to a laptop, but only to show the real-time download and upload speeds, which were stable between 600Mbps and 750Mbps.
Raw speed aside, what practical use does mobile broadband have at this speed? Well, EE were showcasing 4K HDR video streaming at a consistent high bitrate on the smartphone without any drops or glitches. That’s something which few home internet connections can handle, let alone mobile devices.
EE have already deployed the technology in Cardiff City Centre and London’s Tech City, where real world download speeds of 428Mpbs were achieved, and EE have committed to rolling out the technology to other major cities in the near future following pressure from customers on the contact EE line.
Gigabit LTE speeds are made possible through a combination of 4×4 MIMO and Three Carrier Aggregation. Mobile sites installed with 4X4 MIMO technology have more receivers than a regular mobile mast, enabling faster speeds and better connections. Three Carrier Aggregation is slightly more complex, but put simply it uses three blocks of mobile spectrum for a similar purpose to 4×4 MIMO, thus creating faster speeds.
EE director of network services and devices Tom Bennett said: “Peak speeds get all the headlines, and their importance is simple: the higher the peak speed on our network, the better the average speed for every customer. And better average throughput means customers are doing more and getting their content more quickly and more consistently – and that means they’re happier.
“We will keep investing to stay at the cutting edge of network and device technology so that our customers keep getting the best possible network experience. Working with the best technology companies across the mobile industry is vital to that.”
At present, there is only one other device which can make use of these speeds – the HTC U11. The U11 recently launched to excellent reviews and is available from £29.99 per month via EE. The company haven’t yet confirmed how many more Cat 16 compatible phones will be made available, but it’s expected the next-gen technology will become widely adopted.
Additionally, EE won’t be charging extra for this ludicrous internet speed, with the service being made available for free for those on more expensive plans at present.