100 Mbps 4G LTE: Europe mocks U.S. slow progress

TeliaSonera users in Sweden and Norway are now enjoying 100 Mbps 4G mobile data with the latest LTE deployments. Looks more and more like WiMax has been sidelined. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers börk.börk.börk.

By Richi Jennings. December 15, 2009.

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention if Star Wars characters used Facebook...
Mikael Ricknäs repörts:

TeliaSonera has launched the world's first commercial LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks, in the central parts of Stockholm [Sweden] and Oslo [Norway]. ... Normal download speeds are expected be between 20 Mbps ... and 80 Mbps.
Recently, U.S. operator Verizon said its LTE network will deliver speeds between 5 Mbps and 12 Mbps. ... LTE is expected to be the next major standard in mobile broadband technology, and carriers have begun to convert their networks. Up to another 17 LTE networks are anticipated to be in service by the end of 2010 in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Norway, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Armenia and Finland.

Bill Ray comes to bury WiMax, not to praise it:

The operator is pushing Long Term Evolution as offering ten times the speed of 3G ... at 2.6GHz, and making synonyms of LTE and 4G - as though WiMAX had never existed. ... WiMAX struggles to provide 6Mb/sec, despite officially being a 4G technology.
The power of LTE lies in its flexibility which allows it to operate at hugely variable speeds and frequencies. LTE isn't just intended to extend 3G capabilities, but to replace every radio standard used in mobile telephony.

Jeff Bertolucci helps dig its grave:

Wireless service provider Clearwire is currently building the first national 4G network in the U.S. Using WiMax technology, Clearwire offers broadband speeds of 4Mbps to 6Mbps--relatively poky compared to TeliaSonera's 100Mbps offering.
And Comcast, using the Clearwire network, is offering WiMax 4G service in Portland, Oregon. The Comcast High-Speed 2go service maxes out at 4Mbps.

Where's the kit coming from, Om Malik?

The carrier also has a license to roll out an LTE network in Finland. ... It’s using Ericsson and Huawei’s gear for this network, while Samsung is providing the LTE modem dongles. The network in Oslo offers maximum speeds of up to 100Mbps, according to Huawei.
We should start to hear about more LTE rollouts this year, including some kind of news announcement from Verizon Wireless, which is one of the more aggressive LTE backers in the world. In addition to Verizon, MetroPCS has plans to roll out an LTE network as well.

Sarah Reedy reads the significance of the rollout:

TeliaSonera’s deployment is not a huge launch, covering less than half a million people, but a significant milestone for LTE nonetheless. The Swedish operator was able to turn on the network ahead of its initially scheduled 2010 date.
Meanwhile in the US, Verizon Wireless has plans to launch its first LTE market in the latter half of next year and then ramp-up quickly to a 30 markets, 100-million-pop footprint covering the largest cities in the US. AT&T is holding back even longer with plans for a 2011 deployment, choosing to wait until more devices are available.

Erick Schonfeld grumbles, and resorts to the ob. IKEA joke:

The Scandinavians get everything first when it comes to mobile, except the iPhone. ... TeliaSonera says it will roll out the 4G service to 25 cities in Sweden and Norway in 2010. But you know how these things go. The full rollout may take longer because they are still trying to follow the instructions on how to put it together. They are pretty sure they are missing some bolts.
For the rest of us, the wait will be even longer. Mobile carriers in the U.S. are struggling under the weight of soaring Web phone data usage. Their 3G networks can hardly keep up (cough, AT&T). ... I suggest you move to Stockholm.

So what's your take?
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And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itblogwatch@richij.com.

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