Everyone wants bigger, better and faster all the time. That’s why smartphones have grown in size over the past couple of years, and why wireless networks are getting faster and faster. Internet usage on mobile networks is set to eclipse usage on standard networks soon, and as such mobile network operators have been working at a fever pitch to get the biggest, fastest wireless connectivity out there into the palms of your hands. EE is the latest operator making the news rounds with its super fast LTE-Advance network, which launched in London just two months ago in October and is available to over 6 million UK customers now. EE plans on expanding this LTE-A network to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester in 2015 but not before testing the next phase of its LTE-A network: Category 9 LTE.
Specifically we’re talking Category 9 Carrier Aggregation here, utilizing three separate LTE bands to achieve a record speed test for the UK of 410 Mbps in actual real-world tests. This isn’t just some silly lab test we’re talking about here, this is an actual in-the-city test using the 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum, 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectru, and 15MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum. It’s also aggregated between three separate carriers, meaning while this is an actual test it’s going to take a lot of cooperation until you see this on your phone while subway surfing. Category 9 LTE is the next evolution of Category 6 LTE, which EE currently uses in its LTE-A network, and represents a 1.5x increase in peak download speeds in most situations.
Those looking to see these tests take place will be able to at Wembley Stadium in London early next year, when EE is planning to hold an event to display it publicly. While these tests are critical for the ultimate deployment of such a network it remains to be seen as to what EE is planning on doing outside of the big cities of the UK and more into the fields where plenty of people still live. Of course, the big city is always going to be the place to go to get more things, and faster internet isn’t an exception here.