An early peek at the new Three 4G network in the UK, shows download speeds at 50Mbps, but will we see the same?
A recent speed test done from the people at coolsmartphone shows the new Three 4G network running at a massive download speed of 50Mpbs. The test was reported to be done in near lab conditions though, meaning that in a perfect situation the new network has the capabilities for 50Mpbs down and 17 Mbps up. However, just like any connections through wireless frequencies, there are a lot of factors to consider, time of day, geographic’s, and objects bouncing signals around. So the big question is, what kind of speeds are we to expect?
Three has been pretty honest by saying that consumers should expect much less than these reported speeds. Factoring in the seemingly unlimited things that can drastically alter your connection like buildings, objects, weather, buses, trains, and the rest of frequency road blocks that society has in place, it’s fair to say that the speeds will be quite a bit less.
So what kind of speeds should you expect from Three’s 4G network? Coolsmartphone also provided a nice image showing the span of cellular network speeds.
If you’re confused by some of the terminology above, its understandable. Companies definitely want you to believe we’re all on the same kind of 4G network, but the truth is we’re not. Here in the US, Dual Channel HSDPA is considered to be 4G, which is really just a faster 3G network. 4G LTE, which will be the standard in the UK and while the US offers 4G LTE, hopefully it will become the standard soon.
These tests ring fairly true, as using my 4G LTE phone in my home environment, I get speeds between 8-10Mbps down. On my older devices that run DC-HSDPA (4G in the US) my devices have tested out as low as 1Mbps in some areas, so when they say to expect much lower speeds than 50Mbps down, they’re right.
It’s pretty wild when you see how much of a difference it makes using a wireless connection out in compared to what the network is actually capable of, but one major factor in terms of wireless speed, is how many people on that network. Currently UK’s Three is just about to roll out their 4G network, meaning that when this test was ran, the amount of people on that network was fairly low. Once you begin sharing that network with thousands if not millions of people in your area, the game changes quite a bit.
However you dice it, getting speeds 10Mbps down and above through your cellular provider is pretty rad. 4G LTE is currently available in the US and is rolling out in the UK soon.
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