How fast is 4G LTE in real life ?
This is the fifth article in a series from 4G.co.uk which looks closer at what the iPhone 5 brings to the smartphone arena. This article looks at exactly how fast the iPhone 5 will download and upload via a 4G mobile network.
The first point is that the most welcome and needed improvement to the iPhone 5 is that it comes with 4G wireless enabled on the 1800 MHz frequency band. Unfortunately, this means that anyone buying the iPhone 5 will only benefit from the 4G speeds if they are a customer of EE ( Everything Everywhere ) or join EE. Even then 4G will only be switched on in 16 cities sometime before Xmas. Other UK mobile operators won’t be in a position to launch 4G until 9 to 12 months from now – fuller details here The iPhone 5 4G – mobile operator networks run through.
The key question must be how fast is an iPhone 5 running on a 4G mobile network when compared to an iPhone 5 running on a 3G network ? There are three sources of information available. Those supplied by Apple, EE and Ofcom.
Apple have luckily produced a graphical representation ( see above ) which shows that the iPhone 5 on 4G has a download speed of over 2 times faster than an iPhone 5 on DC-HSDPA ( which is only available in some areas in the UK via O2 ).
EE claim a faster DOWNLOAD of FIVE times faster than the current 3G download speeds. 4G = 8-12Mbps with a theoretical maximum of 100Mbps. 3G = 1.5Mbps ( as found in an Ofcom survey ). EE also claim UPLOAD speeds of 5-6Mbps with a theoretical maximum of 15Mbps.
As a consumer, we need to ignore the 4G theoretical reported speeds and look to the real life speeds which estimate a 4G download speed of 8-12Mbps and 5-6Mbps for uploads. This indeed will make the whole 4G experience up to FIVE times faster than the current 3G smartphones on a 3G network.