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Ofcom UK Expects 200 Percent Capacity Boost from 4G Mobile Broadband Tech

Posted: 12th May, 2011 By: MarkJ
ofcom ukOfcom, the UK's national communications regulator, has revealed that it expects the new generation of 4G ( LTE , LTE-Advance, WiMAX etc.) Mobile Broadband technologies to deliver a 200% capacity boost over existing 3G / HSPA networks and using the same amount of spectrum.

4g uk peak mobile broadband speed until 2020

The regulator claims that initial deployments of 4G will deliver a 1.2 times improvement in spectrum efficiency over existing 3G services, which is then expected to grow by 5.5 times between 2010 and 2020.

Ofcom's Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Dr Stephen Unger, said:

"4G mobile technologies will be able to send more information than 3G, for a given amount of spectrum. This increased efficiency means that 4G networks will be able to support increased data rates and more users.

The research that we commissioned indicates that early 4G mobile networks with standard configurations will be 3.3 times (230%) more spectrally efficient than today’s standard 3G networks. To put this in context, a user on an early 4G network will be able to download a video in around a third of the time it takes today on a 3G network. It is anticipated that this efficiency will increase to approximately 5.5 times (450%) by 2020."

Future Mobile Broadband services should be able to deliver peak speeds of between 100Mbps and 1Gbps, although they could potentially go much further. However, real world end-user speeds are likely to be far lower and some operators (e.g. O2 UK) have already hinted that only certain internet services may benefit (two-tier premium model). New modems will also be required.

Under Ofcom's present Spectrum Release Timetable (here) most 4G services probably won't even see the light of day until the very end of 2013 or early 2014. However, recent EU regulatory changes could allow an earlier launch over existing spectrum bands.
4G Capacity Gains - Ofcom's Final Report (PDF)
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/technology-research/2011/4g/4GCapacityGainsFinalReport.pdf
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