Europe will see 100mbps mobile phone networks rolled out from early 2010 and commercial services before Christmas if regulators make available the necessary radio frequencies.
This confident prediction came from Emin Gurdenli, CTO for T-Mobile, the Deutsche Telekom mobile subsidiary.
In an exclusive interview, Gurdenli said mobile network operators (MNOs) were preparing to install new networks based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. LTE has the potential to slash capital costs and running costs while providing transmission speeds of 100mbps and more to mobile devices.
Gurdenli said there was "a business case" for MNOs to switch to LTE because of the cost-saving, but they were hopeful that regulators would grant them a trading environment that offered a more secure return on investment.
Gurdenli said MNOs were pleased that there appeared to be a commitment across Europe to reallocating spectrum in the 800Mhz, 900MHz and 2.6Ghz frequency bands. Auctions for these bands are expected to start later this year and continue in Europe throughout 2010, he said.
The lower frequencies could provide rural areas with high-speed broadband access at a fraction of the cost of wired networks, while the high-frequency band could provide densely populated areas with very high-speed connections.
Gurdenli said T-Mobile, one of the founding members of the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance, is testing LTE components in Bonn in what he said was the first live trial. T-Mobile achieved initial transmission speeds of between 30mbps and 50mbps.
"By the time we are ready for commercial launch the speed will be 100mbps," he said.