4G LTE is gaining momentum in the UK, but the first enabled carrier, EE, is already making strides towards the next generation. That next generation is LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and the carrier is beginning trials of the technology in London's Tech City area, and is promising data speeds up to a dizzying 300Mbps. EE CEO Olaf Swantee:
“The network we’re switching on today in Tech City uses the spectrum that we acquired in the Ofcom spectrum auction earlier this year, and is the first part of an infrastructure that can meet the future demands of an increasingly data-hungry nation, enabling us to stay one-step ahead of the demand.”
The network will roll out across London throughout 2014, and beginning in December local companies in the Tech City area will be invited to partner with EE and experience the new network before any consumer rollouts begin in mid-2014 with compatible device launches.
LTE-A is currently being rolled out in very limited global markets, such as South Korea, and requires specific hardware. So, for EE iPhone customers that would mean a new model, perhaps the iPhone 6 when it launches sometime next year. For now, the best we can get is EE's double-speed 4G LTE currently available in 20 cities across the UK. Exciting times for sure, and while the rest of the UK's carriers play catch up, EE is already moving towards the next step.
Better data caps would be nice though, right?