T-Mobile claims it has conducted the world's first multi-user trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in Austria.
The test network--deemed the largest European test network--covers 60 radio cells supplied by Huawei and has been in operation since July 2009 and is based upon existing 3G infrastructure already installed by T-Mobile Austria in the city of Innsbruck. The operator said that consumers were being asked to judge the service--which is available in and around Innsbruck, on aspects such as quality, stability and reliability.
T-Mobile didn't reveal how many consumers are involved with the trial, but said the LTE network is capable of providing 50 Mbps in both the uplink and downlink and was providing services such as high-speed file transfer and high quality video on demand. the operator confirmed that earlier this year it had demonstrated speeds over 130Mbps over the air with four modems registered in a cell at the same time.
Meanwhile, 3 Austria is looking to one-up T-Mobile by announcing it will deploy LTE throughout its network starting in 2011, making the operator one of the first European operators to confirm a nationwide rollout of LTE.
The company said that it wanted to improve the mobile broadband service it already offers--HSPA+ at up to 21Mbps, soon to be upgraded to 42Mbps--by switching on LTE in around 18 months using equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks. 3 Austria, which currently provides HSPA+ coverage to nearly 95 per cent of the population, said its LTE service would enable subscribers to use download speeds of more than 100Mbps.
T-Mobile has asked the Austrian government to consider the distribution of 2.6GHz frequencies for LTE-based services so it can prepare to introduce the technology on a commercial basis. However, while the company said a service might become available by the end of 2010, no details were provided of anticipated performance or coverage.
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