updated 10:00 am EST, Wed December 19, 2007
LTE Hits 173Mbps
Setting a new record for long-range wireless, Nokia Siemens Networks today revealed that it has completed a test of fourth-generation cellular data that proves the service quick in real-world conditions. Using the upcoming Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard, the company has successfully reached wireless download speeds as high as 173 megabits per second in a downtown Berlin environment where interference would normally reduce the signal strength and hurt connection speed. The service crests above 100 megabits per second even with multiple users wandering as far as a kilometer (0.6 miles) away from the tower providing the signal, according to Nokia Siemens.
The extra speed outperforms previous 100Mbps results by using multiple-in/multiple-out (MIMO) antenna technology that pieces together data from different incoming signals, increasing the overall speed while also helping devices use the technology establish a connection near the fringe of service. The still in-progress 802.11n WiFi standard frequently relies on MIMO to extend its range and speed past earlier formats.
This test not only proves that the technology is effective but also that it will be possible to drop LTE into existing areas without setting up new towers to address blocked signals, the company says.
The results are expected to have a significant impact on the development of the new 4G technology, which will both be used in Europe through carriers such as Vodafone but also by American providers AT&T and Verizon, both of which have committed to using LTE for their cellular service between 2009 and 2010.