Early LTE deployments are no faster than HSPA, says report
It appears that the United States isn't the only place where broadband performance in the real world is vastly different from the performance promised by carriers in advertisements.
Leading Scandinavian mobile network operator Teliasonera AB launched the first two commercial 4G wireless networks based on LTE in mid-December. On the company's Web site, the service is being billed as "10 times faster than 3G" with downlink speeds up 50 megabits per second.
Management consulting firm Northstream has been testing the Swedish LTE deployment with the new Samsung LTE USB modem, and like we've seen in the past, the real-world results aren't quite as amazing as the promises made by the service provider.
"Our immediate reaction is that the browsing experience was rather good, probably thanks to the low latency compared to 3G networks," the company's blog says. "But the throughput measurements were sort of a disappointment after countless tests (with www.bredbandskollen.se), of which many were performed outdoors to eliminate any problems related to indoor coverage, never exceeded 12 Mbps in downlink. More impressive in that case was the 5 Mbps uplink." But what really reminded us of the early days we're still in were the rather frequent drops in service, even at locations where the signal strength indicators were maxed out just a second earlier."
Though Northstream is very forgiving of the network's early performance issues, the company ultimately says, "The complimentary HSPA modem that was included in the LTE deal...actually provides similar peak rates as LTE but without the drops."