UK network Three – also known as 3 – has revealed plans to get aboard the fast moving 4G band wagon by launching its own version of the mobile data standard as soon as this summer. But before you get too excited about the super-fast wireless internet you’ll soon be enjoying through your smartphone – this isn’t actually 4G as we’d be led to believe.
What Three is really proposing for the UK will indeed improve our mobile data experience, increasing the existing 3G speeds but not by as much as a number of US networks are currently offering their customers on the cutting edge LTE carrying services. Three is not shy about addressing the misleading description and in a statement says “Let’s be absolutely clear – this isn’t 4G as in Long Term Evolution, or LTE as it’s also known. Instead it’s the leading-edge version of 3G technology – HSPA+ but running on the 42Mbps technical standard, and offering customers twice the speed potential as the 21Mbps technical standard.”
Three reassures its customers that the “real” 4G will be coming soon and that trials of Long Term Evolution on its network will begin within the next few months when “the spectrum needed to run it is made available”. The network will join Everything Everywhere and Virgin Media in testing out the 4G tech which will first hit Europe by way of Germany before hitting Bristol, England.
So, Three’s “4G” is in fact 3G just a bit better. Something to tide us over before the true 4G/LTE rolls out some time later – Consider it akin to the iPhone 4S coming before the iPhone 5.