Ofcom say 4G will be three times faster than 3G - so should it be called 9G?

13 May 2011


Them foxy little teasers at Ofcom have given us a sneak preview of what we can expect when the UK’s first 4G networks become available, in about 2013. Their findings? Data will be faster but unless the network providers give us an adequate supply of it, it’ll be as useful as an ice lolly in a fireman’s pocket.

Dr Stephen Unger, Ofcom’s chief technology officer, said: “The research that we commissioned indicates that early 4G mobile networks with standard configurations will be 3.3 times (230%) more spectrally efficient than today’s standard 3G networks. To put this in context, a user on an early 4G network will be able to download a video in around a third of the time it takes today.”

But Ofcom also gave a warning – a warning about topology. That’s the science behind the make-up of transmitters that will bring us our 4G juice. They’re hinting that the likes of Brer Orange and Brer Vodafone will need to pull their fingers out if the possibilities that 4G offer are to be realised.

We’ll be watching with a cynical eye – the network providers have gone data-capping mad in recent months and we’ll be surprised to see them happily open the 4G floodgates in 2013. If we all live that long.

TOPICS:   Broadband   Mobile


  • The B.
    Undoubtedly by then the US will have 5G, remember when Europe used to lead the way in mobile comms? I blame Nokia, and the pope, and Nerys Hughes.
  • Alexis
    So not all that fast still and slower than a low-end wifi connection.
  • Llama
    Americans may have 4G, but it is limited to only certain cities and phone/contract costs are many, many times higher than in Europe.

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