EE have turned on their latest network upgrade, called 4G+, claiming it can support the UK’s fastest ever mobile download speeds.
The 4G+ technology is now available in Cardiff and central London, with plans to rollout in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh by summer 2017.
EE demonstrated live download speeds of 429Mbps in Cardiff city centre using Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium, which launched on Friday 2 June.
How 4G+ works
4G+ uses existing resources but sends and receives four signals instead of two, making the spectrum available twice as efficient.
EE say this cutting edge tech will increase capacity on the network, making for faster download speeds and a more reliable data connection.
Which phones can use 4G+?
At the moment only the Sony Xperia XZ Premium can capitalise on these faster network speeds.
The XZ Premium packs a real punch in terms of processing power. It has the most powerful chipset available on the market, an octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. In terms of connections, the Sony has Cat 16 LTE with 4×4 MIMO – this upgraded tech means the XZ Premium will be able to download at gigabit (1Gbps) speeds, when those networks become widely available in the UK.
How fast is 4G+?
EE say that peak speeds with 4G+ can be above 400Mbps with the right device, and customers should be able to get consistent speeds well above above 50Mbps.
EE recently topped the OpenSignal 4G charts with average data speeds of 31Mbps, so this represents a real leap in technology.
How long until 5G?
There’s lots of work ongoing by the biggest players, including O2, who are spending £80 million upgrading their 5G-ready tech in London.
5G, the fifth generation of UK mobile networks, is slated to appear by around 2020.