Got 4G? Wake up, grandad. We're doing 4.5G LTE-A in London - EE chief

And get a load of our gleaming voice system! It's, erm, 2G actually


Olaf Swantee, the CEO of EE, says that his network is planning a scorching 300Mb/s upgrade to its London coverage using the LTE-A (LTE-Advanced) specification. This will roll out in South London first and then to cover the whole of the area within the M25.

While Swantee claims that this will make London the place with the fastest mobile connection, EE will be following in the footsteps of SK Telecom and LG U Plus - both of whom have three-carrier LTE-A in South Korea.

The revelation came as part of an interview given to trade body GSMA's news site Mobile World Live. In the interview, Swantee also said that voice is still important to EE.

"Network differentiation is not possible without voice, do not treat voice as a commodity," he said, adding that EE is now spending £279m on voice, upgrading 2G equipment.

It's worth noting here that Andy Sutton, EE's principal network architect, has recently said that he expecta EE to switch off 3G before 2G.

Swantee however refused to tie LTE and voice improvements together,and wasn't prepared to say anything on Voice-over-LTE, claiming that because EE was running 2G and 4G at the same frequency the ability to fall back in a mere 2 seconds made the need to support VoLTE less important.

This could be seen another way: all voice has to go over 2G or 3G because it takes two seconds to fall back and that would be unacceptable in a voice call. VoLTE makes more sense where coverage is less like a military academy* and then don't have to fall back.

Support for LTE-A is growing with a number of devices shipping - notably a Korean market variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 - and of course it's rumoured for the next iteration of the iPhone, but then pretty much everything gets rumoured for iPhones. ®

* Bits of it keep passing out (hat-tip to the late, great Douglas Adams for the little quip, sourced from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which reads as follows: Ford Prefect: How are you feeling? Arthur Dent: Like a military academy. Bits of me keep passing out.)

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Cuba ransomware gang scores almost $44m in ransom payments across 49 orgs, say Feds

    Hancitor is at play

    The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says 49 organisations, including some in government, were hit by Cuba ransomware as of early November this year.

    The attacks were spread across five "critical infrastructure", which, besides government, included the financial, healthcare, manufacturing, and – as you'd expect – IT sectors. The Feds said late last week the threat actors are demanding $76m in ransoms and have already received at least $43.9m in payments.

    The ransomware gang's loader of choice, Hancitor, was the culprit, distributed via phishing emails, or via exploit of Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities, compromised credentials, or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) tools. Hancitor – also known as Chanitor or Tordal –  enables a CobaltStrike beacon as a service on the victim's network using a legitimate Windows service like PowerShell.

    Continue reading
  • Graviton 3: AWS attempts to gain silicon advantage with latest custom hardware

    Key to faster, more predictable cloud

    RE:INVENT AWS had a conviction that "modern processors were not well optimized for modern workloads," the cloud corp's senior veep of Infrastructure, Peter DeSantis, claimed at its latest annual Re:invent gathering in Las Vegas.

    DeSantis was speaking last week about AWS's Graviton 3 Arm-based processor, providing a bit more meat around the bones, so to speak – and in his comment the word "modern" is doing a lot of work.

    The computing landscape looks different from the perspective of a hyperscale cloud provider; what counts is not flexibility but intensive optimization and predictable performance.

    Continue reading
  • The Omicron dilemma: Google goes first on delaying office work

    Hurrah, employees can continue to work from home and take calls in pyjamas

    Googlers can continue working from home and will no longer be required to return to campuses on 10 January 2022 as previously expected.

    The decision marks another delay in getting more employees back to their desks. For Big Tech companies, setting a firm return date during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a nightmare. All attempts were pushed back so far due to rising numbers of cases or new variants of the respiratory disease spreading around the world, such as the new Omicron strain.

    Google's VP of global security, Chris Rackow, broke the news to staff in a company-wide email, first reported by CNBC. He said Google would wait until the New Year to figure out when campuses in the US can safely reopen for a mandatory return.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021