YOU ARE AT:Carriers@ 4G World: Clearwire pushes past 90 Mbps in LTE trials

@ 4G World: Clearwire pushes past 90 Mbps in LTE trials

CHICAGO – Clearwire Corp.’s (CLWR) trial of LTE technology is showing promising results that have pushed well-known web-based network speed testing sites to their limits, according to the company’s chief commercial officer Michael Sievert.
Speaking during the day two keynotes at the 2010 4G World event, Sievert said the carrier’s ongoing trial in the Phoenix area are showing real-world network speeds of around 48 megabits per second on the downlink using 20 megahertz of spectrum, 10 megahertz for the downlink and 10 megahertz for the uplink. The test results were shown using the web site in a moving environment.
More surprising were the results shown for the carrier’s trial of what it terms “2x” LTE, in which it’s using 40 megahertz of spectrum, with 20 megahertz for the downlink and 20 megahertz for the uplink. In those tests Sievert noted that the website was unable to process speeds in excess of 50 Mbps, a speed in which the 2x service was capable of blowing past.
Using its own testing equipment, Clearwire noted that in the 2x test its equipment was showing download speeds in excess of 90 Mbps and upload speeds of more than 30 Mbps. Of course, this was in a lightly loaded network, but still were results shown on an end-user device and not from a laboratory test.
Sievert noted that these speed capabilities are vastly important as research has shown that consumers are willing to pay for additional speed capabilities when it comes to Internet access.
Sievert noted that Clearwire’s ample spectrum holdings can allow the carrier to use this 2x version of LTE, a benefit he noted was one none of its competitors could match. In fact, Clearwire has so much spectrum, as much as 150 megahertz in some markets, that it’s reportedly in the midst of auctioning off some of that capacity in an attempt to raise additional funding to support its 2011 build out plans. Those plans are expected to push its end of year network coverage from 120 million potential customers to around 200 million pops covered. Analysts have suggested that the carrier would need an additional $4 billion to support those build out plans.
While Clearwire does have the spectrum capabilities for such offerings, to this point its WiMAX-based service, that it claims as 4G despite their being no official 4G standard, is using just 20 megahertz of total spectrum with promised network speeds of up to 6 Mbps on the downlink and 1 Mbps on the uplink. This has lead to one of its competitors, T-Mobile USA Inc., to say in marketing materials that its HSPA+ network, which provides similar speeds, offers customers “4G-like” capabilities.


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