Finland’s Elisa reaches 1.9 Gbps in 4G tests with Huawei

Elisa claimed a new world record in terms of 4G speeds after the Finnish mobile operator said it had achieved speeds of close to 2 Gbps in network tests with China’s Huawei.

Sami Komulainen, VP of mobile network services at Elisa, said the new speed record not only demonstrated the opportunities that still exist with 4G, but was also a step towards 5G.

“The speeds that the 4G network offers are continuously increasing and, possibly in the next few years, we will even be able to offer mobile data connections of several gigabits per second to our customers,” said Komulainen.

Elisa said the current maximum speed on its network is 450 Mbps, while the fastest available mobile broadband subscription offers speeds of up to 300 Mbps.

“A speed of almost two gigabits may seem unheard-of, and many people are wondering if such speeds are even needed in everyday use. However, there will be more and more demand for high-speed connections in the future as, for example, 360-degree videos and virtual reality applications become more popular,” Komulainen added.

Elisa is certainly not the only operator to be trialling much higher speeds on existing 4G networks, joining what has been dubbed the "Gigabit LTE" club. Companies are making use of carrier aggregation techniques on LTE Advanced and LTE-A Pro networks -- which include carrier aggregation enhancements -- to achieve such speeds.

Vodafone Germany, for example, is basing its entire 4G marketing campaign on the “Gigabit” concept and has previously said it plans to offer 1 Gbps speeds by the end of 2016.

In June, Huawei and Vodacom South Africa said they hit peak download speeds of over 1 Gbps by aggregating LTE in both licensed and unlicensed bands, claiming a first for the African market. In May, Bouygues Telecom said it achieved speeds of more than 1 Gbps in tests on its 4G network with Huawei and Swisscom also reported that it hit 1 Gbps in tests with Ericsson.

NetCom, the Norway-based subsidiary of TeliaSonera, said in December last year that it had reached speeds of up to 1 Gbps in a demonstration together with Huawei of LTE-A Pro.

For more:

- see this Elisa release

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