Tests recently conducted by Epitiro on TeliaSonera Finland’s Long Term Evolution network confirm what some hope, and some fear: “Based on our observations, this LTE rollout is directly comparable to high-speed fixed line services,” said Jon Curley, CTO, Epitiro. “Further, the low latency times measured indicate the Finnish LTE service is capable of handling the most demanding of web-based applications including VoIP, video streaming and even HD IPTV.”

In other words, given enough bandwidth, an LTE network performs as well as a fixed-line network.

The tests recorded peak broadband download speeds of 48Mbps (36.1Mbps mean). Mean latency was just 23 milliseconds.

Epitiro simultaneously tested TeliaSonera’s legacy 3G network and found that LTE delivered mean download speeds nine times faster (3G=4.1Mbps) and its latency was five times better (3G=117 ms).

Analysis of IP calls to the United Kingdom, made using voice over LTE (VoLTE), found the quality to be ‘excellent’ on average; measured according to ITU-T PESQ MOS analysis algorithms, with only 1 call in 298 being of inferior quality.

Such speed results generally require 20-MHz channels, rather than the 10-MHz channels now available in the United States, but there will be additional auctions, at some point. Wireless broadband might not be a perfect substitute for fixed-line access in many scenarios.
But that might not be true in the future.

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