EE launches UK LTE-A pilot

EE announced today that it has launched a pilot phase for the UK’s first LTE-Advanced network.

As the first UK operator to launch 4G services in the country, EE is pushing to maintain its reputation as a pioneer in the field.

The company will trial the network with a handful of companies in London’s Tech City and plans to make it available commercially in the summer of 2014.

Olaf Swantee, CEO at EE, revealed the network at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London this morning, also confirming the Chinese vendor as its official equipment supplier.

The partnership with Huawei further secures Europe’s growing bond with the Chinese vendor, which is still fighting a battle with the US over its cybersecurity.

The LTE-A network is designed to offer maximum theoretical download speeds of 300Mbps, which is double that of the existing 4G service.

The pilot phase will use carrier aggregation, combining 20MHz of 1,800MHz spectrum and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum to deliver superfast upload and download speeds.

A handful of operators – including SFR in France – are starting to experiment with LTE-A, but most notable is SK Telekom in South Korea, which this June claimed to have launched the world’s first LTE-A network.

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