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Closer look at M1’s Long Term Evolution (LTE)


Yesterday, M1 announced that it is the first telco operator in Singapore (and South East Asia region) to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE)-based network. At CommunicAsia 2011, VR-Zone was one of the media to check out M1's LTE in action. Read on.

According to Patrick Scodeller, chief technical officer of M1, corporate customers will get either the USB dongles or USB modems to utilize the company's LTE network. Scodeller claims that LTE is far-fledged and quicker. Scodeller showed a live high definition video streaming from the operation centre in Aljunied and the throughput monitor displayed a download rate of approximately 68Mbps.

 "The total throughput speed of the live streaming (including FTP and Internet browsing) is about 67 to 68Mbps. As we said in our press release, the initial launch will be a theoretical speed of up to 75Mbps downlink. It is a shared resource that is the combination of the live streaming and FTP and Internet browsing. The other real plus side of LTE is latency, which in simple terms, how quick a webpage can appear when you browse. It is much faster than the current HSPA or 3G network for browsing and day-to-day usage."

The chief technical officer also explained that the throughput showed is based on a single user usage, and if there are many users, in an average loaded network, the throughput could be around 10 to 15Mbps for some users. There are also 30 base stations being rolled out initially for the financial district as defined in the press release. The nationwide coverage will be in Q1 2012, with the moving of the customers from 2G, freeing up the spectrum, optimizing the network and rolling it out.

According to Scodeller, M1 is working with Huawei on the upgrading of the base stations whereby the total cost of ownership is five years, S$280 million, over five years including all maintenance and base stations. So, you may be asking, when would consumers be able to sign up to use the LTE networks? M1 says that the company will make the necessary announcement in the second half of this year. At the moment, LTE only works with the dongle which is what is available now, but in the second half of the year, we would see LTE-capable smartphones and even tablet devices. The initial rollout of LTE is data-only. However, there is part of the technology that is VoLTE or Voice over LTE, which will come as an add-on. The M1 LTE network is designed for data-only with 3G for very good voice quality, thus the mobile devices such as phones and tablets will be 3G voice initially for the first couple of years.

At the demonstration is a notebook PC with the a dual mode USB dongle. M1 says that if you bring it out of LTE coverage area, it will fall back to HSPA or 3G.

Here, you can see the results from Speedtest.net which shows the download speed to be around 62.66Mbps and upload speed to be 18.28Mbps.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.

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