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4G+?

Bigyinuk

Casual Member
Hi all.

I've seen and heard very little mention in the tech press etc about 4G+ but have noticed that Vodafone seem to have upgraded their systems to 4G+ in several town around me (including some quite small ones).

A speed test in Great Torrington for example yielded 168mbps on Vodafone with my Galaxy S7 which I though was pretty darned impressive and getting towards what current 5G trials are achieving.

Does anyone know what Vodafones plans are and whether other providers are using this technology?

Regards
 

johnf

Casual Member
I have noticed my router when set in automatic band mode occasionally hitting 4G+. My research tells me this is a system where it aggregates bands to improve speed.

However, I have never been able to work out how to fix it in those bands. As sadly the router was often changing to stronger signal bands but with slower performance. So I have ended up locking it in 2600 mhz with LTEInspecteur.

I too found very little on 4G+ ,perhaps they considered it too techy for their general customer base and perhaps few devices are capable of it?
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Trying to find ANY information on what masts are using what bands is a nightmare.

O2 are supposed to use mostly B20, with a few B3 in major towns, but the LTE scanners I have tried all say I am using B1.

It is fairly important I found out what they are doing, it is getting close to phone replacement time, and Xiaomi have dropped B20 support from many of their phones, including the new Note8/Note8Pro
 

Bigyinuk

Casual Member
My router supports B1 and B20. The local VF transmitter is only using B20. The local Three transmitter which I also use however is B1 and B20, but I fix the router on B1 for that connection as its 5mbps faster (even though the signal strength is weaker on B1). All 4G here, no 4G+ sadly.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
4G is essentially just LTE, while 4G+ tends to mean LTE-Advanced and that supports Carrier Aggregation (i.e. harnessing several bands at the same time). There's nothing new about CA but operators tend to only deploy it in urban areas, although it'll be a default part of 5G's rollout.

Sadly I've yet to see CA in my own town and that tends to be the same for a lot of people, which is partly because it costs money to upgrade and you also need the data / backhaul capacity to feed it. Hence why I think a lot of operators haven't gone as far with CA as they could since it doesn't make much sense when 5G is just around the corner.
 

chrsphr

Member
Each of the providers use the following as their 'base' or primary band which are rolled out nationally:
Vodafone - 800mhz - B20
O2 -800mhz - B20
EE - 1800mhz - B3
Three - 1800mhz -B3

All of the providers have a range of other bands they deploy additionally that don't yet have national coverage, eg for EE and Vodafone 2600mhz in big towns and cities, or 2300mhz for O2. 2100mhz is fast becoming the second main band for most providers (it's re-farmed 3G) so you will find this in many towns on nearly all the providers. Finally, EE and Three have some 800mhz that is used to add extra coverage, though this does not add much in the way of performance.
Three have announced they are also ramping up coverage of 1400mhz. Vodafone also has some of the same.

Usually, any site that has 2+ bands will offer Carrier Aggregation / 4G+.
Whilst not all providers are specific about their 4G+ rollout plans, I think you'll see the following trends over the next year:
- Vodafone - much more 2100mhz, some 1400mhz, possibly more 2600 in major towns
- EE - doubling up of the 1800mhz band offering 2 of these bands in towns and cities, much more 2100mhz. More 2600 in major towns. Maybe some 800mhz in suburban/rural
- Three - much more 2100mhz and 1400mhz. Some more 800mhz in suburban/rural
- O2 - Much more 2100mhz and 2300mhz in cities.

The crowdsourced app Cellmapper is a great way to keep tabs on rollouts in your area:

I also highly recommend following people like Peter Clarke on Twitter or LinkedIn
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Each of the providers use the following as their 'base' or primary band which are rolled out nationally:
Vodafone - 800mhz - B20
O2 -800mhz - B20
EE - 1800mhz - B3
Three - 1800mhz -B3

All of the providers have a range of other bands they deploy additionally that don't yet have national coverage, eg for EE and Vodafone 2600mhz in big towns and cities, or 2300mhz for O2. 2100mhz is fast becoming the second main band for most providers (it's re-farmed 3G) so you will find this in many towns on nearly all the providers. Finally, EE and Three have some 800mhz that is used to add extra coverage, though this does not add much in the way of performance.
Three have announced they are also ramping up coverage of 1400mhz. Vodafone also has some of the same.

Usually, any site that has 2+ bands will offer Carrier Aggregation / 4G+.
Whilst not all providers are specific about their 4G+ rollout plans, I think you'll see the following trends over the next year:
- Vodafone - much more 2100mhz, some 1400mhz, possibly more 2600 in major towns
- EE - doubling up of the 1800mhz band offering 2 of these bands in towns and cities, much more 2100mhz. More 2600 in major towns. Maybe some 800mhz in suburban/rural
- Three - much more 2100mhz and 1400mhz. Some more 800mhz in suburban/rural
- O2 - Much more 2100mhz and 2300mhz in cities.

The crowdsourced app Cellmapper is a great way to keep tabs on rollouts in your area:

I also highly recommend following people like Peter Clarke on Twitter or LinkedIn
B1 (2100MHz), has recently popped up on O2 in Malvern, but apparently only on the main mast; the secondary/repeater masts are still B20.
So I get B1 at home (where I dont need it) , and B20 at work (where B1 would be very nice).

However, on GiffGaff, even with B1, I am only getting 16ish Mbps up and down.

Malvern is a city in the same way a squirrel is an Elephant.
 
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