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Telefónica gets real with LTE mobile broadband services

Telefónica has unveiled a series of mobile broadband services over LTE (long term evolution networks in a bid to demonstrate the real business benefits that such very high bandwidth networks could deliver.

Commitment to technological leadership and innovation were among one of Telefónica’s key objectives of the Madrid demonstration by the Spanish incumbent telco, who owns 02 in the UK .

Using technology installed Telefónica’s technology partner Ericsson, the demo included a VOIP call and a video call using the LTE mini network, a video conference, and data and image download. Telefónica claimed that the network achieved speeds in excess of 140 Mbps, 10 times faster than the current speed offered by the 3G network over HSPA technology.

Telefónica said that its demonstration showed that an LTE prototype network has been connected to the ‘real’ existing 3G and 2G network, an indication it says that applications could be just around the corner. There has been criticism in some parts that LTE is being overhyped and that in any case it is still unclear when such netwrks would be rolled out.

According to a recent report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association, 26 vendors have confirmed that they will rollout out LTE based services from 2010 to 2012. Tellingly, to date, no current domestic mobile broadband operator has announced that they will roll out LTE services in the UK . T-Mobile and Orange have said they will offer LTE in their home territories and it is also unknown as to the plans of O2 and Vodafone. Interestingly, Hutchison 3 says it will roll out LTE in Ireland in 2011.


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