AT&T lab test shows LTE speed at double Verizon's advertised rate
But AT&T warns not to project real-world speeds from its lab tests
Computerworld - AT&T recently demonstrated a fast 28.87 Mbps download speed during an LTE test at a Plano, Texas, lab, but an AT&T spokesman later warned not to extrapolate that real-world speeds will reach that level when AT&T launches its LTE wireless network this summer.
That test scenario represented an attempt to model a real-world situation, according to an AT&T engineer cited in a GigaOm report, although the GigaOm reporter who saw the demo noted that the 28.87Mbps speed will drop when a wireless user shares the same cell tower with others.
On Friday, an AT&T spokesman clarified: "The LTE network at the Foundry [facility in Plano] is not a production network and you can't extrapolate from the speeds recorded there what real-world speeds will be on AT&T's production network. We haven't announced anticipated speeds for our LTE production network."
AT&T's 28.87Mbps download speed and 10.4Mbps for uploads in that demo is more than double the LTE speeds that Verizon Wireless advertises for smartphones running on its LTE network, which has 12Mbps download speeds and up to 5Mbps for uploads.
The tests at the Foundry lab have relied on using MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antennas and two spectrum bands, at 700MHz and 1700MHz, AT&T said.
Several AT&T executives have noted that AT&T is taking its time to thoroughly test LTE before deploying it this summer. They made such comments even as Verizon recently underwent a nearly two-day LTE outage.
If AT&T ends up advertising its LTE as faster than Verizon's, that will be interesting, since LTE is a relatively new technology that could suffer outages and variations in speeds for many reasons, including an increase in the number of users per tower, analysts noted.
Some users might not even care about an improvement of 14Mbps in speed with AT&T over Verizon, since LTE, even at 5Mbps, is 10 times faster than most 3G speeds, analysts added.
However, given the way AT&T and Verizon clamor over every nuance of their respective wireless services, it seems likely that AT&T could be preparing for a marketing battle with Verizon over LTE speeds and reliability.
Phillip Redman, an analyst at Gartner, put AT&T's 28Mbps demonstration in perspective Friday: "There are so many variables when it comes to wireless bandwidth that the only thing to expect is variability. Though top speeds can test out to over 30Mbps on LTE networks, it is better to look at average speeds in-market, under real conditions. It is expected than that average [LTE] speeds will be under 10Mbps, and probably even half that on a loaded network."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more