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O2 Deploys LTE In UK

Gordon Kelly


O2 Deploys LTE In UK

'LTE' is going to be one of the buzz words of 2010 (probably flanked by 'Cloud' and 'Smartbook'), so could this be the first sign our mobile broadband woes may be at an end?

Making a determined step to right many of its 2009 wrongs O2 revealed it has begun tests of HSDPA's successor in the UK. Following on from Europe tests, the lucky people of Slough will become the first Brits to benefit with a control group given LTE dongles made by Huawei to use with their laptops and desktops.

"We are pleased to collaborate with Huawei on this LTE trial, which will allow us to better understand this emerging technology and prepare us in offering our customers next generation mobile broadband services in the future," said O2 UK CTO Derek McManus.

The trialists will be able to tap into a service which provides speeds up to a theoretical maximum of 150Mbit per second. This is compared to a peak of 7.2Mbit in the UK for HSDPA and while both figures are misleading (they represent total shared bandwidth, not real world speed), the leap is there for all to see. Note that due to power consumption in first generation hardware, PC dongles will be the first port of call for LTE with handsets not expected to get in on the act before 2011/12. That said, pulling laptop data usage off existing HSDPA networks should significantly improve their performance for handsets.

Wider availability? '2010' is all we keep hearing. So until then my UMTS Forum interview will kill some time and provides a thorough backgrounder on LTE. Oh and for the record, LTE is not '4G' (as it is often incorrectly referenced) but 3.9G - the last iteration of 3G. So there!


via ISPreview


December 15, 2009, 5:44 am

Nice to see someone else care about correct "G"-age!


December 15, 2009, 7:48 am

"Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough..."


December 15, 2009, 11:42 am

so this time we can all get the original 7.2 Mb speeds we were originally promised?


December 15, 2009, 12:04 pm

'Lucky people of Slough' - first time I've heard this phrase.

....and 3.9G or 4G - someone should tell the BBC and Scandinavians



December 15, 2009, 1:06 pm

@Stewart - indeed they have. Straight from the horses mouth:


@ilovethemonkeyhead - 2Mbit is the rock solid consistent minimum being aimed for with potential to spike much, much higher


December 15, 2009, 1:07 pm

@Stewart, apologies wrong link. Here:



December 15, 2009, 1:28 pm

Shame you cannot talk to their customer support about any but the most general topics. For over seven days now they have been "upgrading our systems".

No access to details of any kind. Hugely frustrating.


December 15, 2009, 1:51 pm

O2... They will probably cap it anyway just like they do now with HSDPA.

Slough, what a dump.


December 15, 2009, 2:25 pm

I work in Maidenhead, wonder if the signal will be able to reach here?

The only good thing about Slough is that it makes Maidenhead seem a pleasant place to be.


December 15, 2009, 3:25 pm

O2, That's all very well and nice but could I have 3G in my area please? Why sell an iPhone and then not have any coverage in the area (even in the O2 shop).

While you are at it could you give me better a better GPRS signal? 1 bar of strength that disconnects every 10 minutes is pretty cr**y when all the other mobile operators give me full bars.

Thanks a lot! NOT!


December 15, 2009, 5:26 pm

At times my O2 HSDPA connection at home, on the HTC HD2 is now quicker than my home TalkTalk 8Mb home broadband! When connected via the inbuilt WiFi router to my laptop web pages load like lightening and download speeds are phenomenal!!

Funny, because I have been struggling to just get a solid 3G signal on the iPhone 3G I was using in the exact same location. The iPhone would just fall back to 2G all the time and everyone complained that the call quality was poor.

At last, I feel like i'm getting a service worth paying for. Must be a ludicrously low contention ration for non-iPhone users in my area, and long may it last!


December 15, 2009, 6:14 pm

O2 are hardly coming at LTE from a position of public trust in their ability to deliver.

I suspect that there are very many who will be pleased to see the arrival of LTE in the UK but be equally disheartened to learn that it is O2 leading the way. If they take the same half-hearted approach that they did to 3G/HSPA then LTE, with O2, is doomed to be a repeat of recent history. It's no use O2 spinning the line that this was always their intention, to skip 3G and go directly to LTE. Only a complete fool would buy into that story.

We'll have to wait and see. But my money is on the other network providers getting LTE out more comprehensively, and sensibly than O2.


December 15, 2009, 7:44 pm

Im dumping the over-charged broadband service in my office and now looking for a mobile BB provider. Any tips or recomendations? Currently it seems 3 is the most resonable one with 5GB allowance for £15 a month (both contract & PAYG).

I'm also wondering if I can just use my phone to tether - 3.1.2 iphone on 3 seems impossible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. i.e. using Hero or HTC instead? Dont like BlackBerrys sorry. Thanks!!!!!!!

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