The LTE Uplink Advantage – Give me 5, give me 10, give me 15 Mbit/s

The more I use my Owncloud server at home for exchanging files with others and keeping my calender and address book synchronized between various devices without relinquishing control (see here and here), the more I have come to like cloud services. I also use my Owncloud server at home while on the move via HSPA and LTE and when doing so, the major bottleneck is the uplink data rate.

For calendar and address book synchronization and also for downloading files from the cloud, an HSPA connection is fully sufficient. When uploading larger files to the cloud, however, HSPA becomes quite limiting. This is due to the limited uplink speeds of HSPA networks today, typically between 1 and 2 Mbit/s. How times and perceptions change… Not too long ago such speeds were considered amazingly fast. Not that this is an inherently wireless issue as ADSL uplinks are often even slower, most not even exceeding a megabit per second.

LTE is refreshingly different in this regard. When reception is good, I can easily achieve speeds way beyond the 5 Mbit/s my home VPN is limited due to the processing power of my VPN gateway. And for files exceeding just a few megabytes this makes a real difference.

So while for the most part I regard LTE as a capacity extension to server more simultaneous users rather than being there for offering higher download speeds, the uplink speed is the real differentiator for me!