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Motorola Testing 4G Mobile Broadband In UK 61

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the a-whole-extra-g dept.
CNETNate writes "Motorola has launched UK trials of the leading candidate for 4G mobile broadband technology, the long-term evolution (LTE) of 3G. The communications equipment maker began the trials at its testing facility in Swindon, UK on Monday. It plans to test out live LTE calls with data streaming, using a prototype LTE device and the 2.6GHz spectrum band that is due to be auctioned later this year. The news arrives after Motorola reported losses of $3.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008."
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Motorola Testing 4G Mobile Broadband In UK

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  • ...how far ahead our mobile infrastructure is in the UK compared to our archaic fixed line infrastructure.

    It's just a shame mobile broadband is rather expensive still, but then I guess that's the answer as to why our mobile infrastructure is so far ahead- because unlike fixed line ISPs it isn't offering £5 a month or even "free" "unlimited" broadband packages.

    • by Hyppy (74366)
      It's a lot easier to put up a better antenna than it is to redo last-mile cable runs. This goes double for areas that have buildings with history across a time period measured in centuries.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The UK's cable is already fiber and has been since they started rolling out cable services, so stop spreading the last mile myth. The RSBs are a different matter, very old tech, which is a lot easier to replace when they bother. Coax is only used from these to your house, a matter of a few meters. The cabling is ready, NTL are already doing 50mbps on this so-called old tech. 20mbps is pretty common now, and that's over the same gear that was down at 512kbps eight years ago. DSL is still shit.

    • by petes_PoV (912422)
      > ...how far ahead our mobile infrastructure is in the UK ...

      When you say "ahead" presumably you mean in marketing terms: such as being able to charge huge amounts of money for a pathetically slow data connection with a miniscule monthly download limit?

      If that's progress, gimme a landline (or even cable) connection any day.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @11:18AM (#26726109) Homepage Journal

      It never ceases to amaze you that the technology which doesn't require fucking around with kilometers and kilometers of wire is improving faster than the one that does?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Xest (935314)

        The wire doesn't need changing for the most part, ignoring the fact the UK already has a decent amount of fibre already, even copper isn't really inherently any worse than radio for the range of data transfer we're talking about.

        It's really the tech. in the local cabinets that needs changing but that isn't getting changed. BT is planning to take years and years to roll out ADSL2 (I think they're expecting completion by 2012 to 2014) yet the mobile operators have repeatedly managed to show they can upgrade t

        • The problem is that not all lines are even copper. BT still has aluminium wire in the ground in some areas. Granted it's probably not that wide spread any more but it comes mainly from the 70's (I think) when copper cost a lot. Apparently Milton Keynes has a load of houses hooked up with shit aluminium wiring. It just doesn't last long.

          In fact I may still be being services by aluminium on this street. BT is supposed to have replaced it last year or this year and they claim it's only this street. Luckily
          • by Xest (935314)

            I think realistically they'll have to replace most aluminimum as part of the governments planned 2mbps minimum anyway, so hopefully it shouldn't be a problem for too much longer.

      • But remember: all wireless basestations connect to the wired network...
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          That has nothing to do with anything, because what's wrong with POTS is the crappy spliced and cross-connected (and cross-talking...) copper. By using wireless you can relocate the access points to places where you have good network connections. Also, you are quote simply wrong because you can also connect microwave uplinks via microwave.

  • by reality-bytes (119275) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @11:01AM (#26725865) Homepage
    Until the UK mobile network operators begin to get realistic with their data pricing structures, 3G/4G services will be the preserve of those with too much money and not enough initiative.

    Notice the spectrum is to be auctioned? Last time they auctioned spectrum, the prices ran up to silly money and the consumers are now paying for it.

    I'll not comment on European data roaming charges to avoid getting a hernia.
    • +1 agree wholeheartedly
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Until the UK mobile network operators begin to get realistic with their data pricing structures, 3G/4G services will be the preserve of those with too much money and not enough initiative.

      It doesn't cost me any more to use the 3G network servers than it does to use the equilivent on the 2G networks.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It doesn't cost me any more to use the 3G network servers than it does to use the equilivent on the 2G networks.

        So 2G is also ridiculously overpriced. I live in fear of accidentally opening the web browser on my phone, because I just know it'll cost me a packet. In addition, it seems if I download some premium things, orange (my operator) can add money to my bill at will.

        The reason I don't use mobile internet at all is I have no idea how much it will cost. When we get a reasonable flat fee, then maybe I'll use it.

        • You must have a bad package. Most of mine would allow around 5 megs included per month which doesn't sound like much until you realist mobile internet is shit to look at and read so you struggle to use that and when I have I've never had to ay more than a couple pounds.

          I like Vodafone's PAYG mobile broadband deal where you pay £15 for a gig and use it as and when. But it's still a bit too pricey for me. I know I won't use it much and yeah 1 gig probably will last me awhile but I think I'll wa
    • by master811 (874700) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @12:56PM (#26727385)

      I'm Not sure where you get £4/MB from...

      There are plenty of data tariffs from most of the networks now that give you 1GB/month for free which is generally more than enough for most on a mobile.

      T-mobile for instance do it for like £5/month (and it's even free on some tariffs) which works out at £0.005/MB ish. Then of course there's the iPhone on O2.

      Also you don't need to spend more to use 3G services, you are vastly ill-informed, either that or simply have no clue.

      So though there certainly are tariffs which might cost £4/MB, you'd have to be an idiot to use them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jaclu (66513)

      Sounds a bit expensive, here in Sweden two of the major carriers have flatrate talk/unlimited data, the other two have flatrate talk/5gb for aprox 45£.
      I usually download 80-90 GB/month over 3g and have done for a year and have gotten no complaints.
      Since I move around a lot I never saw the need for any adsl.
      Please dont ask about what I'm downloading ;) /jl

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        But the roaming still applies unfortunately. The roaming charges for data in other European countries are outrageous.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ash Vince (602485)

      Pricing is not that bad. I am posting this from a mobile phone hooked up to my laptop. I pay £15 per month for a mobile with 200 minutes and 300 texts. I then pay £7.50 per month on top for unlimited data. This is pretty reasonable in my book.

      I am currently on a train moving between London and Manchester at 100+ miles per hour and get the following:
      http://www.speedtest.net/result/404516397.png [speedtest.net]

      Ok, the ping is pretty bad but I cant complain about the price. I think they may cap my usage but I have

    • by devrx (661465)

      T-mobile UK offer unlimited mobile data for £7.50 a month (on top of your normal call plan), which I think is pretty good value. It's why I chose them when I got my Nokia N95 - there wouldn't be much point in having that phone if I couldn't use the internet on it without worrying about data charges.

      You're right about the roaming data charges though!

      • For a given value of unlimited, which means 3GB/month. That said, I currently pay £25/month for cable broadband at home, and for the same amount T-Mobile will give me a 10GB/month mobile connection. If I only had one computer, I'd be tempted to switch. When they roll out LTE and up the caps I probably will. I'm also very tempted by some of the new netbooks with HSDPA built in, since they offer a pay-per-day option for HSDPA which is only £2/day or £20/month if you buy
  • iPhone 5G (Score:3, Funny)

    by CmdrPorno (115048) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @11:06AM (#26725945)

    Big deal. Apple is already testing the iPhone 5G ne plus ultra.

    • Yes there's a rumor of a new Iphone being unveiled in June.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Phoenixhawk (1188721)

        Heard the new one does that video calling deal. Video is just want I want when my boss calls or at 3 in the morning. Then again on second though with every telemarketer seeing me in my boxers. It might work better than the "do not call" list...lol

    • Engadget just posted pics of the iPhone apres moi, le Deluge. There's a line forming outside my local Apple store now.
  • I'm a 3G (HSDPA(UMTS) customer in Germany. There has been a run on 3G lately, largely due to O2/Tchibo offering prepaid 3G sticks with 10GB/month for 25 eur. This popularity has severe consequences! While the first few months were still ok, having about 70 kB/s on average, I'm currently glad if I get 10. At unholy hours in the night it can get to above 200 kB/s, so it's very likely an overload of their capacity that is holding everyone back. I couldn't care less if I had 3G or 4G if there is only be a cap
    • I couldn't care less if I had 3G or 4G if there is only be a capacity to give me 1/100th of the maximum bandwith [sic]

      You probably should. With HSDPA, 1/100th of the maximum bandwidth is 210Kb/s, which is slightly faster than ISDN. With LTE, 1/100th of the maximum is 1Mb/s, which is a reasonable broadband connection - faster than my mother's ADSL connection in the middle of nowhere.

  • by andersh (229403) * on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @05:30PM (#26730569)
    Old news! They're already building the first European 4G network in Oslo, Norway (TeliaSonera).
  • Is anyone even seriously considering deploying anything other than LTE for 4G?

    And if the answer is "basically no", which it seems to be, does this mean that basic GSM will piggyback? Or would that be entirely optional?

    I ask because I've seen a number of news stories about former CDMA carriers adding HSDPA, but it seems that they don't offer GSM at the same time.

  • Next Gen, what last gen promised!! (i.e. advertised speeds)

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