Nokia reports it has tested a new fourth-generation mobile broadband technology called Long-Term Evolution (LTE) in real-world conditions. The phone makers says they reached speeds of 173Mb/s (21.625MB/s):
The prototype base station for the LTE radio system was installed at the top of the Heinrich Hertz Institute building in Berlin, a location known to cause mobile users problems due to interference. Testing the technology with multiple simultaneous users Nokia was still able to reach 173Mb/s, and the mobile phone giant is touting that as a realistic approximation for actual user-end throughput when the service eventually goes live.
LTE was also tested for range, with equipment installed on cars travelling up to 1KM away from the base station able to use the broadband service without a problem.
The main appeal of the technology from the point of view of the networks looking to implement 4G technology is that the LTE system doesn't require new equipment beyond the base station itself. Matthais Reiss, head of the LTE Business Program at Nokia, said in a public statement that "we now have evidence that future LTE networks can run on existing base station sites and mobile operators can build LTE networks without requiring new antenna sites."
Marketing figures from Nokia say TLE will feature 100Mb/s downstream and 50Mb/s upstream, which comes close to the 70Mb/s downstream and upstream speeds of WiMAX.