Yesterday, Telefónica O2 Germany launched its Friendly User Trial for its new 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. Several hundred customers and non-customers can try O2 Germany's new broadband wireless technology free of charge at home for the next six months. Even in so-called white spots which had no (wireless or wired) broadband connection so far, users can enjoy the same or even better data transfer rates as with DSL. O2 is running its "Friendly User Tests" in its pilot networks in Munich, Ebersberg, Halle and Teutschenthal. In the last few weeks, more than one thousand people in these regions applied for participating in the tests. First routers and USB sticks for LTE are now being sent out.
At a press conference, O2 showed what LTE is capable of. HD video conferences between the pilot networks went smoothly and without any disturbances. Furthermore, download tests achieved data transfer rates of up to 100 megabits per second. Pilot network partners AVM, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) demonstrated how they are supporting O2 with their technology for the development of LTE.
AVM announced the pre-production start of LTE hardware and will supply the first generation of its Fritz!Box LTE routers for the "Friendly User Tests".
Huawei presented the stylish E398 Multimode (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA/LTE) USB stick for LTE and B380 LTE router.
Furthermore, Huawei showcased the LTE base stations for the urban pilot networks at 2.6 GHz as well as the rural 800 MHz eNodeB.
The mobile Nokia Siemens Networks reporters broadcasted live from the motocross track in Teutschenthal and the Christmas market in Halle where the network equipment supplier supports O2's LTE pilot networks. VoIP calls via LTE to standard GSM and UMTS mobiles were also demonstrated.
O2 will start building its networks for commercial LTE at the beginning of next year. The launch of O2 LTE products for customers is already planned for the first half of the year. To begin with, rural locations like Klein Wanzleben and Alsleben in Saxony-Anhalt and other municipalities will be provided with the new technology. Thereby, O2 is supporting the Federal Government's broadband initiative to provide fast Internet access to rural areas.
Cheers ~ Arne