EE converting airwaves from 2G to superfast 4G

I found a Nokia 6210i in the drawer at the weekend. I’m yet to find the charger for it, but I think my son will probably stifle laughter as I show him the “Snake” game and the 2G data connectivity we had back then. Anyone remember WAP? Anyone recall infrared data transfers from phone to phone? Ahh those were the days.

However, as we all know, 2G isn’t really something people want any more. Data, data, data. That seems to be the big “want” from customers, and EE have today announced that they’re refarming their 2G airwaves into 4G. The network already has the largest 4G+ footprint in the UK and they cover over 85% of the UK landmass. Now, in addition to having over a thousand Cat 9 4G sites (speeds above 400Mbps), they’re upgrading 600 sites to Cat 12, increasing upload speeds and handling 300 million 4G calls per month.

There’s a lot of technical stuff detailing this, and they’re basically using 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum with 35MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum. Then, they’re converting another 10MHz slice of 1800MHz spectrum from 2G to 4G for even more speed. They also tell me that..

EE has also invested in 4×4 MIMO, which sends and receives four signals instead of two, making the spectrum twice as efficient. EE is also rolling out 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) technology, which increases the efficiency of the spectrum.

Now, whilst I’m not totally sure what all of that means, it’ll basically result in you guys getting your Instagram / Facebook / Twitter fix faster and more reliably.