Vodafone Group R&D director Michael Walker has stifled speculation that it would deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology before 2012, saying no European LTE networks will be up and running in 2010 with the exception of a few small demonstration networks. "Vodafone's rollout will depend on geography, but won't be before 2012," the executive said.
Throwing more reality on the LTE market was Ericsson UK's CTO John Cunliffe, who called for a more honest approach when it comes to the data speeds that LTE would provide in the real world.
"The technical guys know that advertising those big speeds is damaging, but they're the numbers the marketing guys want to push," said Cunliffe. "It's difficult, if one company is advertising the maximum speed, for another to then turn around and advertise the likely speed. It's going to need everybody to be honest."
While the technology is theoretically capable of hitting 150 Mbps, Ericsson admits they are unlikely to be replicated in the real world. A company spokesman suggested users could see an improvement of around "10 times over their current experience on a 3.6 Mbps mobile broadband connection."
Cunliffe said, however, that the mid- to long-term prospects for LTE. He said Ericsson's road map will see the vendor moving from 150 Mbps to 300 Mbps and then 600 Mbps during the initial phase of LTE. Advanced versions of the technology will exceed 1 Gbps, but that capability is a ways off, he said.
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