EE has promised to complete its rollout of 300Mbps 4G speeds in London by the end of the first half of 2015.
EE director of network services and devices Tom Bennett revealed the project’s London rollout estimate during a keynote at a Qualcomm and EE Tech City event in London on Wednesday.
“Spectrum is the lifeblood of our offering,” he said. “At the moment in we’re looking for LTE-Advanced and 300Mbps speeds to be covering London by Q1-Q2 next year.”
EE began offerings its 300Mbps LTE-Advanced technology in east London in November 2013. The rollout saw EE offer select businesses Huawei dongles that can latch onto the network and then broadcast a WiFi signal for devices such as phones and laptops to connect to.
The firm promised it would expand the number of companies involved in the trial over the coming months before fully launching the upgraded network at the end of the year.
Bennett said the LTE-Advanced speeds will offer businesses and general consumers a variety of benefits. “With 3.6 million customers we’re continuing to lead that curve and will continue to do so. I think LTE-Advanced offers the business area a hell of a lot,” he said.
He added that a key part of how successful this is will depend on how widely hardware manufacturers implement the technology into their devices and choose to take advantage of the increased speeds.
“Our challenge is being transparent. People won’t get the engineering they just want to know it works. Device technology and mobile is a global game. You need global partners. We work with the likes of Huawei and Qualcomm to do this.”
Bennett listed improving handsets’ battery lives to deal with the more demanding network as a key challenge for smartphone makers. “We talk to manufacturers all the time and leveraging this technology while managing power consumption is the Holy Grail. Sony, Samsung, you name it: they’re all concerned about keeping, maintaining and improving battery. This is another real challenge,” he said.
Many technology companies have already begun developing components to support LTE-Advanced speeds. Qualcomm announced its flagship mobile LTE-Advanced chip, the Snapdragon 805 at Mobile World Congress in March. The firm claims the chip’s advanced power-saving features will help improve LTE-Advanced phones’ power efficiency by as much as 15 percent.