Three clarifies '4G' claims, while first LTE network hits London
A pair of interesting 4G developments have shed more light on when UK smartphone and tablet owners will have access to LTE download speeds
Mobile network Three UK has moved to clarify reports that it will be rolling out 4G mobile broadband speeds across the UK later this year.
In a blog post on Wednesday that company revealed it was finalising plans to launch 4G in the UK, prompting a host of excitement that smartphone and tablet owners in Blightly would soon be able to access next generation download speeds.
However, the company soon revealed that it would not be launching 4G LTE technology, rather a faster version of 3G known as HSPA+42, which also offers vastly improved download speeds of 42Mbps. It's a tactic networks like T-Mobile have previously employed in the US.
In a statement Three says: "Let’s be absolutely clear – this isn’t 4G as in Long Term Evolution, or LTE as it’s also known. Instead it’s the leading-edge version of 3G technology – HSPA+ but running on the 42Mbps technical standard, and offering customers twice the speed potential as the 21Mbps technical standard."
Three did say it was continuing to work on an LTE network.
However, on a more positive note for mobile users desperate for some genuine 4G LTE mobile internet, internet company UK Broadband has officially launched a 4G network in Southwark in London, which homes and businesses will be able to access by May.
The company hopes to be the first to start selling 4G LTE internet in the UK and says download speeds of 120Mbps should be easily attainable.
The technology was built using Hawei equipment and is a variant on the FD-LTE technology which we've seen in most 4G networks to date. UK Broadband's network is build using TD-LTE technology which optimises download speeds at all times.
The announcement brings the UK another step closer to the launch of 4G LTE internet. Last month, Everything Everywhere, the owners of T-Mobile and Orange revealed it would be in a position to launch 4G LTE by the end of the year, if Ofcom gave it permission to transfer some of its 1800MHz spectrum from 3G to 4G use.