Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scandinavia gets world's first LTE network; U.S. still puttering at 3G

In a move that bodes well for that website to download a little faster on your cellphone, Scandinavian service provider TeliaSonera just switched on the world's first Long Term Evolution (LTE) cellphone network in Stockholm and Olso. Right now the only product capable of receiving the beefy 4G bandwidth of LTE is a Samsung Kalmia modem USB dongle (Model GT-B3710), but handsets are planned for the New Year. Theoretical download speeds are said to be 10 times 3G, or 100Mbps, though realistically it would only be a fraction of that (still way better than 3G).

It's great to see LTE tech finally move out of the 'buzzed about on the Internet and at trade shows' phase and into the 'it's here' stage, though predictably it didn't happen in the U.S. (not exactly know for its innovative cellphone networks). It's not all bad news stateside, though: Sprint has been slowly but steadily expanding its 4G network, based on WiMax technology, and Verizon and AT&T have plans to deploy LTE networks next year and beyond. Maybe then we'll finally be able to use SlingPlayer for iPhone outside of a Wi-Fi hotspot.

[DVICE via TeliaSonera, via Engadget]

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