EE Launches Beta of LTE-Advanced, Supporting 300 Mbps

U.K. mobile service provider EE has activated what it calls “the fastest 4G mobile network in the world” in a portion of London in a beta format, with commercial launch expected in mid-2014.

The network runs the LTE-Advanced air interface, capable of reaching 300 Mbps, initially covering London’s Tech City, and is the first live activation of new LTE spectrum acquired by EE during the recent LTE spectrum auction.

The EE 300 Mbps 4G network will be rolled out across London throughout 2014, but initially will provide Wi-Fi style access, as devices supporting LTE-Advanced will not be available until mid-2014.

Routers and dongles are expected to be first to market, with LTE-A-enabled smart phones following a few months after.

SFR, France's second largest mobile carrier, also is testing LTE-A, and has reported real-world download speeds in the region of 175 Mbps and, like EE, it's using carrier aggregation with the 1800 Mhz and 2.6 Ghz bands.

As part of the beta launch, some firms in Tech City will use CAT6 Huawei routers to support mobile Wi-Fi connections.

LTE-Advanced works by bonding channels. In this case, EE uses 20 MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum and 20 MHz of 2.6 GHz spectrum.
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