Be prepared for 1200 MBit/s with LTE-A

Just recently I was, and actually I quite am, quite extatic about having reached 11 MBit/s throughput in a live 3G network over here in Germany. But the specs are already two orders of magnitude ahead.

In a recent 3GPP RAN meeting, a new set of LTE-Advanced UE categories have been specified. The highest one, Category 8, specifies a transfer mode for 1200 MBit/s downlink and 600 MBit/s uplink transmissions. That is, of course, if we'll ever see devices with 8 receiver antennas and networks that have base stations with 8 transmit antennas per sector. Also, a channel bandwdith of 40 MHz is required. Each parameter on its own is already quite a stretch when compared to the current state of the art. But then, only ten years ago, we were creeping along with wireless speeds of just a couple of kilobits per second. Two orders of magnitude less, actually.

For those who want to have a closer here's a link to the 3GPP RAN WG1#62 report. In the report, search for R1-104944.