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Motorola Testing 4G Mobile Broadband In UK

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the a-whole-extra-g dept.

The Internet 61

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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Torrents (-1, Flamebait)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725741)

How long until the torrents will bring down the whole network and we will discuss again net-neutrality?

US Cell Phones (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725751)

So, what, another 20 years before we see this in the US?

Re:US Cell Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26727851)

Nope, Verizon is already trialing LTE.

Salesman says- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725753)

And I finally was getting customers to understand what 3G meant for them. /sigh

Re:Salesman says- (2, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725783)

Just be glad they went with 4G is instead of ASDF2.1 or something. At least this way you've got the "it's 4G so it's obviously better than 3G" consumer logic going for you.

Re:Salesman says- (1)

117 (1013655) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726683)

For most consumers here in the UK, 3G = G3 = 'oooooooooooh shiny'

Re:Salesman says- (3, Insightful)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727047)

3G?! We're on HSDPA here in the UK, that's 3.5G to you I guess. HSDPA connection with an Xperia X1 is bliss.

Re:Salesman says- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26727241)

The US still hasn't figured out Sim cards or unlocked phones. 3G only if you believe sprint ad's.

Re:Salesman says- (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727327)

Depends on the carrier... T-Mobile is the smallest of the big carriers, but they'll unlock your phone after you've been with them for a couple months if you got a subsidized phone, and have no issue whatsoever about you putting your SIM in another phone. I use an unlocked Motorola SLVR or whatever the hell it is that I got off of eBay instead of my Blackberry 8800 in many cases when I don't want to be carrying an expensive phone with me because it might be damaged/lost/whatever.

It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725757)

...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.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725919)

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:It never ceases to amaze me... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26726129)

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.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26726689)

Virgin Media are a pathetic excuse for an ISP and the only cable providers in this country. The better ISPs are all ADSL, which is still shit.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26727171)

When pathetic means decent home internet with unlimited downloads, speeds that are good even at peak hours and phone line services for £20 a month in total, I'm not really complaining. Even if they do go down for an entire day once a year.

BT's phone line charge is some £12 a month on its own, before service on top and DSL, never mind that DSL sucks.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26727793)

Unlimited??? only on paper!

every thing gets capped if you use it a wee bit too much, and I am not talking about downloading all day from torrents. Plus their policies regarding things like phorm were shady at best (I am told they have silently reversed track on that one though). after 9 years with telewest/ntl/virgin, we decided to move for a much better service, for much less money.

Also, to get the "discounted price" off virgin you also need the phone line from them which cost you £11. not much different than BT.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

blane.bramble (133160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726745)

No, the original UK cable (as laid in Croydon etc) was copper, not fibre - as an early adopter of cable in the 80's Croydon was very late to get upgraded to fibre.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (4, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727415)

Getting laid in Croydon; is it worth it?

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (2, Informative)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726973)

Coax is only used from these to your house, a matter of a few meters.

I don't think coax is used at all - phone lines are usually twisted pairs, or even just plain untwisted wires.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (2, Informative)

ChrisLambrou (742881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727741)

That's true for BT phone lines, but Virgin Media do indead run coax to the house (despite their adverts, where Samuel Jackson's claims that fibre runs to the house).

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (2, Interesting)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26728249)

Virgin's service here (Reading) is a figure-8 cable which consists of coax, which supplies telly + broadband, and four pairs copper, which is used for the phone if you have one. Exactly the same as I had when I was with telewest in Brum.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26732879)

Samuel Jackson Fiber! It'll get you online! Pick a fight with a troll or two. You'll be fucking fat girls in no time!

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26727959)

Despite their advertising, Virgin's cable is actually hybrid fibre-coaxial. If it was genuine FTTH they probably wouldn't have as much of a problem with congestion and packet loss.

I'd be surprised if mobile broadband worked as well as my creaky old ADSL due to the fact that the total bandwidth is not all that large and is shared between everyone in the area.

Of course, I could just be old fashioned, I'd rather use a landline phone than a mobile tough one), which hardly anyone my age seems to do these days.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725989)

> ...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.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726109)

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:It never ceases to amaze me... (2, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727957)

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 to new tech. much faster when it comes out.

The only reason fibre is mentioned in reports about upgrading the UK's broadband infrastructure is because there's a strong belief it has much more long term potential, but that hasn't stopped live tests in some countries from demonstrating 100mbps and such over older copper connections.

The point is that if mobile operators were running the fixed line infrastructure as they do the mobile infrastructure you can guarantee they'd have this kit in already or within a few years at most, whilst BT wouldn't get something like that in until at least 2020 because first they'd have to finish off ADSL2 taking them to 2012, then they'd say the UK is fine now for at least 2 - 3 years, then they'd accept things need improving, this would be followed by a 2 year study and pushing for government subsidies, followed by 1 year of trials and then they'd spend the next 3 years rolling it out. This is how ADSL and ADSL Max rollouts were done and by the time ADSL2 is complete, it'll be almost the same for that too.

So yeah, it never ceases to amaze me...

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26729501)

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 I'm just down the road from the exchange so I don't think I'm affected too bad except for when it falls apart and I gotta call them up. It usually takes a few goes for them to fix it because the wiring is so old it does literally fall apart as they try to patch it up.

Despite this I can still manage 5-6 megs of my 8 meg package.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26729579)

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.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727999)

But remember: all wireless basestations connect to the wired network...

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26728877)

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.

Re:It never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26729699)

Why do you assume POTS in the UK is archaic? The entire backbone has been digital since the mid-90's, and BT are now moving to an IP-based network.

The only problem area is the last-mile of coper, but then why should BT invest millions of pounds in replacing it all when they only have to turn around and be forced to lease it to other providers at unfavourable terms?

last ditch effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725775)

This may be just the panacea they need.

All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (5, Interesting)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725865)

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.

Re:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725917)

silly money

I guess the UK just likes to 'clown' around, eh?

Re:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726339)

+1 agree wholeheartedly

Re:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726531)

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:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26727093)

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.

Re:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26729543)

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 wait until it's, at most, £10 per 1 gig.

Try a data tariff and it's far cheaper (5, Informative)

master811 (874700) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (2, Interesting)

jaclu (66513) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727819)

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:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (2, Informative)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26732979)

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

Re:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (2, Informative)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26730933)

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 never hit the cap so it does not make any practical difference. I have certainly used upwards of 2Gb in a month so it is fine for casual browsing. I have not tried bit torrent or any monster downloads but at least I do quite happily let windows update hammer my phone on patch Tuesday. I also quite happily browse on train journeys like this and not care about being charged.

I have even considered signing up to a dedicated mobile broadband account at £30 per month just for an internet dongle for the convenience and fact that they throw in a free laptop:
http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/editorial/get_connected_free_laptops/?int=home_nav [pcworld.co.uk]

All this seems pretty reasonable to me.

Roaming charges are a good point but I don't have time to go into that now, I am just about to arrive in Manchester :)

Re:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (1)

devrx (661465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26734951)

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!

Re:All for just 4 pounds sterling / megabyte (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735531)

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 a month at a time. This would be ideal for working in the park during the summer months (or weeks, if we get a summer like last year).

They don't charge you extra if you go over the limit, but they may decide that they don't want you as a customer anymore.

iPhone 5G (3, Funny)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725945)

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

iPhone 400Gs (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726001)

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

Re:iPhone 400Gs (2, Funny)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726225)

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

Re:iPhone 400Gs (0, Flamebait)

Onaga (1369777) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726437)

Good point. I mean, seriously, I'm sure no one has ever thought people answer phones differently than how they open their front door. I just hope that those multi-billion dollar corporations could think of... oh, I dunno, asking the person if they want to allow video or not. It's a real stretch and out-of-the-box thinking, but I have faith that someone at motorola, apple, nokia, etc. would think of it.

Can we stop the lame video-call jokes already? What were people saying when they got wind of the first telephone? "Oh, I hope I'm not talking about someone and they call my phone. It would put me in a such a pickle if they overheard me." Sound stupid? That's because it is.

And let's just say for the sake of argument that auto-expose-yourself-in-your-undies is a feature turned on by default. All your video calls to grandma would be staring at her head because she still doesn't get it and holds the phone to her ear.

And fyi, I'm pretty sure people will not be doing video conferencing all that often either. Bar the occasional long-distance relationship (you get my point), just try holding your cell-phone 2 feet away from your face (and level) for 10 minutes while driving home today. Let me know how that works out for ya.

Re:iPhone 5G (1)

baltimoretim (631366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727499)

Engadget just posted pics of the iPhone apres moi, le Deluge. There's a line forming outside my local Apple store now.

Ninnle, of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26726201)

The OS used for the tests? Ninnle Linux. Nothing else would have done.

Re:Ninnle, of course... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26726353)

You must have not heard of the REAL OS being used, it's called Vap Linux, coolest thing ever, check it out...

Re:Ninnle, of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26726751)

whoosh

Re:Ninnle, of course... (1)

bytethese (1372715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26727027)

Sounds too much like Fap Linux. That could get messy...

Re:Ninnle, of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26727051)

Do you have a link to some info on this ? it appears that google hasn't heard of this either

Re:Ninnle, of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26731867)

All Google links lead to Ninnle.

Swindon? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26726219)

"I heard they dropped an atomic bomb on Swindon... ...and did about £15 worth of damage!"

- David Brent

Reality: speedy protocols, little bandwith = slow (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26730171)

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 capacity to give me 1/100th of the maximum bandwith. I don't use internet underway as much anyway, so if O2* will not promise to resolve this with priority, I'll have to get back to DSL for my internet connection. Hopes are not high, it's more likely to get worse: as far as I understood they cut down some roaming contracts which effectively decreased the available bandwith again. If anyone has some good suggestions on how to put some pressure to the providers, I'm all open for it. * Competition seems to have the same problems with their 3G networks.

Re:Reality: speedy protocols, little bandwith = sl (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26735593)

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.

Already building in Oslo, Norway (2, Interesting)

andersh (229403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26730569)

Old news! They're already building the first European 4G network in Oslo, Norway (TeliaSonera).

So is there anything else but LTE? (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 5 years ago | (#26730653)

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.

That's progress for you (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26731075)

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

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