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.

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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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