Carrier says download speeds can hit 150 Mbps under ideal conditions

When the country’s three biggest wireless carriers launched LTE service several years ago, their initial download data speeds were nowhere near the technology’s potential high.

Slowly, however, as their network expanded and they were able to torque their infrastructure things have sped up.

On Tuesday Bell Mobility announced it has kicked its LTE network speeds up a notch, from 75 Megabits per second (with a user expected average 12-25 Mbps) to 110 Mbps (14-36 Mbps), with speed as high as 150 Mbps (18-40 Mbps real-world) available in some locations.

Subscribers need LTE-capable handsets to reach those speeds.

In reply a Rogers spokesperson said it upgraded its network to hit 150 Mbps “several years ago,” and announced in February, 2013.

“Bell is committed to bringing the world’s best wireless communications technologies to Canadians everywhere, and we’re proud to announce significantly faster mobile data speeds in more places.” Bell Mobility president Wade Oosterman said in a release. “More than four in five Canadians can now access Bell’s 4G LTE service, and we’re growing coverage to over 98 per cent of the population by the end of 2015 with our LTE rollouts to rural and remote locations across the country.”

The carrier said its LTE network not covers about 82 per cent of the population. This year it will add 52 new locations in Atlantic Canada.

Bell [TSX: BCE], Rogers, Telus, SaskTel and Manitoba Tel offer LTE service. They have yet to deploy the next generation of LTE, called LTE-Advanced, which not only give faster download speeds but also gives their infrastructure more efficiency by creating a true converged voice and data over IP network.

Some carriers in commercial service say LTE-A gives download speeds of up to 300 Mbps under ideal conditions.

AT&T launched LTE service in Chicago in March. Carriers in France, Switzerland, South Korea, the Czech Republic and the Philipines have some service, while it is in announced trials in many other countries.

According to 4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association, there are 17 commercial LTE-Advanced networks in the world, with another 30 expected by the end of the year.

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