#mwc12 – Telefónica shows off download speeds of 100Mbps via LTE

26 Feb 2012

The CTO of Telefónica Enrique Blanco shows off an LTE dongle

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS – Telefónica and Alcatel-Lucent today showed off a jointly developed ‘smart LTE’ network capable of download speeds of up to 100Mbps at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Incidentally, the technology used was developed by Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D labs in Dublin.

The deployment is the first of its kind using 2.6GHz frequencies. The network is capable of improved indoor coverage and can increase capacity by up to 400pc in high-density traffic areas.

The network was built on Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio technology, which was developed in Dublin and helps reduce the carbon footprint of cellular base stations.

Each cell can comfortably support 30 people browsing simultaneously with average speeds of 30Mbps.

The network supports speeds of up to 10 times those on a 3G network, with download speeds of 100Mbps, upload speeds of up to 60Mbps and latency times of around 20-25 milliseconds.

In a live demonstration, Telefónica’s chief technology officer Enrique Blanco compared a typical 3G connection of 5Mbps download speeds with the LTE in action. Using a Samsung Galaxy Tab computer, he was able to achieve 48Mbps download speeds and a 12Mbps uplink.

A colleague on a PC with greater processing power was able to demonstrate download speeds of 98Mbps.

“What this will make possible is proper real-time video and gaming via wireless networks – proper high definition in real time over a wireless network,” Blanco explained.

Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio is the name of a family of technologies spearheaded by the company’s Bell Labs R&D team which are set to transform mobile communications, improving the quality of network services for consumers while dramatically reducing the size, carbon footprint and energy consumption of mobile base stations.

Alcatel-Lucent says the technology can reduce network deployment costs by up to 40pc. The smaller cell sizes also use less powerful amplification equipment, resulting in energy savings of up to 35pc.

“The wireless network of the future needs to be lighter, greener and closer to customers and deliver much higher capacity – that is what lightRadio is all about,” explained Wims Sweldens, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless division.

Samsung’s head of sales and marketing DJ Lee says the company has been collaborating with Telefónica and has worked with a variety of device lines, from LTE dongles to Mi-Fi and LTE smartphones in various European markets.

“We are fully committed to supporting Telefónica’s LTE rollout and hopefully will try to expand our LTE partnerships not only for European markets but also including Latin-American markets,” Lee said.


Bell Labs’ Dr Frank Mullany at Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D operation in west Dublin

Read more on the Mobile World Congress 2012:

#mwc12 – Samsung unveils new Galaxy Beam and Tab 2 series

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years