What is the future of mobile broadband? (EN)
Mobile broadband technology already enjoys mass adoption. According to Nokia Siemens Networks there are now around 6 billion mobile subscriptions globally, with around 1.2 billion mobile broadband subscriptions.
The mobile phone industry has decided on a new signalling standard for 4G networks called LTE (Long-Term Evolution), which will offer downloads at about 10 times the speed of current 3G networks. Within several years, further mast and software upgrades could push downloads to 300 megabits per second, or around three times the speed offered by the most expensive home broadband packages on the market today.
In the UK, a recent highly controversial Ofcom decision means that Everything Everywhere, the huge operator established by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in 2010, will be allowed a head start on its competitors by deploying the first commercial 4G network in the country.
Field trials of the new technology have been reported in Cornwall and central London since early 2012, with some participants sampling handsets, tablets and laptop dongles and describing the experience as superior to WiFi. A top executive at an internet service provider says he achieved download speed of 97 megabits per second on O2’s trial 4G network.
Sometimes the introduction of a popular new phone model can boost mobile web traffic patterns. For example, 4S users transfer on average three times more data than users of the older iPhone 3G model.