Hands-on with the fastest LTE network in Europe: 400Mbps down, 45Mbps up

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LONDON—Today, I got to play around with Europe’s (and probably the world’s) fastest LTE network: when I opened up Speedtest.net, depending on how many people were standing in the room, my download speed was between 350 and 400Mbps, my upload speed was around 45Mbps, and my ping latency was just 20ms. Funny enough, beyond Speedtest.net, it is actually quite hard to use 400Mbps of bandwidth. When I loaded up a 4K video from YouTube, I only used around 40Mbps, or 10 percent, of my wireless uber-pipe. Ars Technica certainly loaded very quickly indeed. As it stands today, there are very few websites or services that will let you pull data down at 400Mbps, or where being able to download at 400Mbps even makes much sense. If we’ve learned anything from the last few decades of telecoms and networking, however, it’s that Internet usage will always expand until every last inch of available bandwidth is consumed. So while 400Mbps might seem a little bit over the top today, in five years you’ll probably wonder how you ever survived with anything less. For some background, I had a 400Mbps LTE connection at my disposal because I had been invited to Wembley Stadium in London to try out the first deployment of Category 9 LTE in the UK. It was a “live” deployment in that it used commercially available hardware, but it was still very much a tech demo—the Cat 9 base station only covered a small portion of the stadium, and there were only a handful of devices in the world configured to connect to this specific LTE network. The LTE network was operated by EE (one of the UK’s big four wireless carriers), the LTE base station was made by Huawei, and the mobile device that I used was a smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC . Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Hands-on with the fastest LTE network in Europe: 400Mbps down, 45Mbps up

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