Mobile broadband to hit 100Mbps


Mobile broadband could hit 100 Mbps before fixed fibre lines, according to the GSM Association (GSMA).

As demand for faster data speeds grows, especially in Asian markets, new Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology could deliver ‘super-fast’ speeds on the move, said the GSMA, the representative body for network operators.

"Tests show LTE can produce speeds up to 186 Mbps," said GSMA director of technology Dan Warren.

"But obviously you never get the top speed and they vary with distance from the base station and interference.

"The places we expect to see it first are Japan and South Korea in early 2010 and [former Vodafone chief] Arun Sarin said he expects to see the technology in the European market by 2012."

Such estimates mean the introduction of super-fast mobile broadband could come before BT’s recently announced fibre optic improvements complete. BT said last month it is investing £1.5 billion in 100Mbps fibre optic broadband.

"The BT announcement is not a threat but it will stimulate the market," added Warren. "It’s likely to develop demand and help push more technology through.

"There’s been a huge land grab from fixed line and as we move through the higher bandwidths we put more pressure on them to keep up."

While Warren thinks the time of mobile networks completely replacing fixed lines is a long way off he does believe these new technologies will allow mobile to out-compete its fixed line relative in speed as well as convenience.