Vodafone have today announced something called 4.5G. If it’s anything like the 3G improvement we saw with HSDPA (which was dubbed 3.5G), then this sounds promising already, even if the technological explanation is a tad confusing.
Their new “4G on Steroids” is known as “Carrier Aggregation” or LTE Advanced which basically means it’ll allow component carriers to be aggregated to give more users more speed. EE are also working on this and are scheduled to deploy it this year too. Vodafone is rolling out to Birmingham, Manchester and London “and to other UK cities during the rest of this year” and into 2015.
The lower frequency 800MHz spectrum that Vodafone has will get through walls and buildings better than higher frequencies, whilst their 2.6GHz frequency is better for smaller areas where more people congregate.
In theory, combining these in this new tech could deliver 4G speeds which are three times faster than current 4G tech. More speed, more reliably, in more places.
Get the full details in the press release below.
4G BOOST FOR VODAFONE CUSTOMERS
Vodafone UK today began the roll-out of a new technology which will help boost customers’ existing 4G mobile service by allowing more users to experience ultra-fast speeds.
The new technology, called Carrier Aggregation but also referred to as LTE Advanced or 4.5G, allows Vodafone to combine its unique portfolio of radio spectrum to provide higher average speeds to more simultaneous users, including indoors where 70 per cent of customers use their mobile device most.
Vodafone is rolling out the enhanced technology from this month in Birmingham, Manchester and London and to other UK cities during the rest of this year and 2015.
Carrier Aggregation is particularly well suited to Vodafone’s 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum, which the company secured in last year’s auction. Low frequency 800MHz spectrum travels further and penetrates better through walls to provide the best network coverage. 2.6GHz is ideally suited to smaller geographical areas of high population density.
Vodafone research shows that customers value a consistent, high-speed 4G service in-building as well as outside and that they are increasingly streaming videos, emailing, accessing the web, as well as making and receiving calls from lunchtime through to early evening from their desk or sofa.
Vodafone UK Technology Director, Fergal Kelly, said: “This clever technology is the next big step to deliver faster speeds per user and to increase the capacity so more customers can enjoy a great 4G experience when and where they want it.”
The rollout of carrier aggregation is part of £1 billion Vodafone is spending on its network and services across the UK this year. It follows the nationwide provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology and the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme aimed at giving remote communities 3G coverage for the first time.