Ofcom research reveals that the next generation of mobile technology will deliver more than 200 per cent of the capacity of existing 3G technologies, using the same amount of spectrum – the airwaves that carry information between customers’ mobile handsets and the Internet.
This increased capacity is essential in meeting the UK’s rapid increase in mobile traffic, fuelled by the growth of smartphones and mobile broadband data services such as video streaming, email, messenger services, mapping services and social networking.
4G mobile technologies will be rolled out in the UK from 2013 and are set to deliver significantly faster mobile broadband services – approaching today’s ADSL home broadband speeds.
This will be achieved in part thanks to 4G using spectrum more efficiently.
Dr Stephen Unger, Chief Technology Officer at Ofcom said: “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%) 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. It is anticipated that this efficiency will increase to approximately 5.5 times (450%) by 2020.”