Back in March, Ofcom told us it’d hold “the largest ever single auction of additional spectrum for mobile services in the UK” in 2012, as networks vie for 4G pie.
Dr Stephen Unger, Ofcom’s Chief Technology Officer, has been speaking a bit more about the benefits 4G will bring. Basically, it’ll be really freakin’ fast.
"4G mobile technologies will be able to send more information than 3G, for a given amount of spectrum. This increased efficiency means that 4G networks will be able to support increased data rates and more users.
"The research that we commissioned indicates that early 4G mobile networks with standard configurations will be 3.3 times (230 per cent) more spectrally efficient than today’s standard 3G networks.
“To put this in context, a user on an early 4G network will be able to download a video in around a third of the time it takes today on a 3G network."
Sounds good to us, but Ofcom isn’t happy to stop there. It adds: "the increased spectral efficiency of 4G technologies will not on its own be sufficient to meet the expected growth in demand for mobile data," suggesting that: "more spectrum itself is also needed".
Current technology in the UK affords us speeds of up to 3.6Mbps over 3G and 7.2Mbps with HSDPA. Delicious 4G-ness will supposedly provide up to 100Mbps on the move and an incredible 1Gbps while stationary. Sah-weet.