Once smartphone consumers around the world got a taste of what 4G LTE can deliver, the technology rather quickly became a necessity on flagships and some mid-range smartphones. Nothing short of very fast Wi-Fi could beat 4G’s ability to instantly stream high-definition YouTube and Netflix, or load webpages in a matter of seconds on a mobile device. Now, it’s time for something even faster.
UK network provider EE recently began testing its next-generation 4G+ service, technology that would allow for download speeds of up to 400Mbps. In conjunction with Qualcomm and Huawei, EE started setting up the network at the country’s largest sports venue; Wembley Stadium. The client device featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with the X10 LTE modem that combines three different spectrum bands to achieve insane speeds on a single device. Such speeds would easily allow for true 4K video streaming.
“Smarter devices with more data intensive video and audio demands are launching all the time, and it’s trials like these at Wembley Stadium that allow us to ensure EE customers continue to get the very best experiences from their mobile network now and in the future.” – Fotis Karonis, CTO, EE
EE’s 4G+ network will go live in March at the stadium but will only utilize two bands to achieve real-world speeds of around 150Mbps. The company plans to invest around £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) to expand the network nationwide over three years so that users with smartphones and tablets equipped with the Snapdragon 810 will be able to enjoy the speed boost as well.
Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed that it is planning on using the Snapdragon 810 in an upcoming Lumia flagship. The company’s Juha Kokkonen, General Manager of Portfolio and Project Management had this to say in a press release:
“We look forward to continuing this relationship to deliver best in class Lumia smartphones, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processors, and offer an unprecedented combination of processing power, rich multimedia, high-performance graphics and wireless connectivity for our customers.”
Since we are not expecting any new Lumia flagships to be unveiled next week at Mobile World Congress (please prove us wrong, Microsoft), this device will likely make an appearance in time for the launch of Windows 10 later on in the year. Let us know in the comments below what you think on 4G+ on a smartphone. Is it the next step in technological evolution, or plainly just as overkill as a 4K display on a smartphone? Sound off below.Further reading: EE, Lumia, Microsoft, Network