4G put to the test

 

Rory puts 4G to a speed test

As I predicted, peace has broken out in the 4G wars that have pitched the operators against Ofcom. The deal unveiled by the Culture Secretary Maria Miller on Tuesday night should see all the operators offering 4G by next summer.

But in the short term, EE - the owner of Orange and T-Mobile - will have the field to itself.

I got the chance to test its 4G network against an existing 3G service. Obviously this isn't at all fair - 4G with a couple of journalists using it should do much better than 3G crammed with thousands of users. Watch the test to get a flavour of what we can expect from the new technology.

 
Rory Cellan-Jones Article written by Rory Cellan-Jones Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 61.

    I don't get this at all. Rory states that the test is unreliable and not indicative of the service to be expected but uses it as a demonstration anyway. Weird to say the least.

    Anyhow, that dial whizzed over to the right and the number was larger than the other so it must be great! Or, it's just another exaggerated claim they won't live up to - as stated by the regulator.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 60.

    4G should be able to achieve better signal over longer distances than 3G. If rural areas want mobile Internet access then 4G should be celebrated.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 59.

    58 WelshDave

    Fortunately, current 3G coverage isn't a great predictor of potential 4G coverage, as 3G uses a relatively high frequency which doesn't travel particularly well.

    When they make the 800MHz band available for 4G, it should be theoretically possible to provide coverage on a par with current 2G cover.

    What happens in reality will, of course, depend on economics and politics.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 58.

    it makes me laugh when you see consumer groups saying its good for rural regions. thats rubbish, i live in a rural area and vodafone cant even supply 3G!! so what chance would you expect them to do 4G where i live.

    also it should be noted 3G has a theortical speed of up to 14.4mbps, so 3 as shown in the video is on the low side, although `congestion` probably plays a large part

  • rate this
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    Comment number 57.

    @55. Fred Bloggs.

    4G is faster than a lot of broadband, at the moment when only a handful of people are using it. In practice this might not be the case.

    And, they should set 4G at a reasonable price so there is a higher take up. Then those who are using it will actually pay for it, not everyone. I just think £10 a month is a bit high, most will just check Facebook etc with it. Hope I'm wrong.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 56.

    The speed on the i5 using 3's network was crap. here around where I live just outside Cardiff, we get average speeds from 7 - 13mbps. Would like to see EE beat those speeds. Even when there's more users on the network

  • rate this
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    Comment number 55.

    @52.Killer Boots Man

    "interested in 4G until I heard it would be £10 a month. You can get home broadband for that."

    To be fair 4g can be faster than broadband if you're not near an exchange...

    "If take up is low, which I suspect it might be, they'll claw their cash back from everyone."

    So those investing should be prepared to take a massive loss in exchange for providing this service?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 54.

    MY 3G works ok, but when 4G rolls out and heavy users and early adopters move across my 3G will work even better.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 53.

    Rory, How do these phones handle voice? As I understand it, 4G is a data-only protocol

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 52.

    I think 4G will push up the price of mobile phones for everyone. I am with EE and was mildly interested in 4G until I heard it would be £10 a month. I don't do anywhere near enough on mobile internet to justify that price on top of an already fairly pricey contract. You can get home broadband for that.

    If take up is low, which I suspect it might be, they'll claw their cash back from everyone.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 51.

    @47.Andy

    "..that your 4G must be available to 100% of the UK population within 2 years or you can't bid"

    Considering neither the Gas or Electricity networks cover 100% of homes in the UK and I think you'll find they started implementing those a tad more than two years ago, I'd go as far as to say your idea is really quite silly, and absolutely 100% unachievable.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 50.

    This is the technology HYS if you are not interested go to another section. Who are you to tell me what I should be allowed to comment on?
    2 points. The national grid and telephone access took decades to get across the UK. Why do we expect 4G to be rolled out over night?
    Also 4G will not change phones as much as our home usage with video calling and HD streaming becoming far more effiecient.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 49.

    Looking forward to faster naughty videos on my phone.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 48.

    44, Midget:

    I was probably going to lose my temper over a few things today too, but seems I don't need to bother after all, as I've got you to do that for me.

    Thanks.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 47.

    How hard would it be to add a condition during the sale of spectrum/licenses that your 4G must be available to 100% of the UK population within 2 years or you can't bid.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 46.

    I use a 3G router for my home computer network via a rooftop aerial , which provides basic access to the internet, far better than my mum's landline down the road. Hopefully with 4G I might actually be able to use some of the TV catchup streams.
    My only concern is cost, most providers are stupidly expensive for 3G dongles with the exception of Three, I hope this changes.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 45.

    36.AndyPCambridge - "What will the Government do with the £millions from the sale of 4G licenses?....."


    I wonder that too, as the revenue from the 3G sale (£20bn), under Gordon Brown's watch, was used to pay down the debt his Govt inherited from the Tories Black Wednesday debacle......

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 43.

    The more bandwidth we get, the more animated/streamed ads etc. get put on each page, so they're just as slow to download...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 42.

    I think that 4G will change the UK Internet market completely.
    Most home connections are currently running on average speeds of what this technology can offer on a mobile device. I think that 4G will shape broadband usage and the way broadband is sold in the near feature.

 

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