back to article Telefonica zaps 100Mbps 4G masts with shrink ray

Spanish ISP and telco giant Telefonica is beavering away on 4G: it's holding trials in London, Madrid and Barcelona, and rolled out a service in Germany. And while testing of the next-gen mobile broadband tech is underway in ten countries with all major vendors, on its home turf the company chose Alcatel Lucent and Samsung to …


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  1. Richard Ball

    Any technology that has the appearance of a carriage clock gets my vote.

  2. Doug 14

    Streetside location

    I've never understood why these trasmitters couldn't be integrated with the existing streetlight infrastructure. You'll have height , power , accessibility and path directly into the heart of the population. Seems like a no brainer to be

    1. Anna Logg

      Re: Streetside location

      I submitted a draft patent application for that 10+ years ago, turned down on the basis of prior art.... For sure there are plenty of base stations dotted around now in streetlamp like hardware.

      O&M and backhaul have always been big issues when looking at rolling out loads of little base staions as opposed to fewer big ones - look how long it's taking Femtocells to get any traction.

  3. Fuzz

    This all sounds great


    1. You still need planning permission to put up all those masts and even though

    more masts=less radiation people will still oppose them so you won't be able to get the coverage.

    2. 100Mbps speed or anything approaching that will only be available if you live under the mast (see 1.)

    3. any mobile network based Internet is going to come with tiny bandwidth caps, e.g. 10Gb per month so with your 100Mbps it can be used in 1'40"

    1. Rob 44

      Re: This all sounds great

      Yeah that's what I'm thinking.

      "download at super fast speeds"

      Which loosely translates to

      "reach your bandwidth cap faster than ever before"

      I don't see the point in increasing any of these speeds or touting the amazing uses for them when the isp's and telcos seem hell bent on punishing users for actually getting any use out of them.

      One great analogy or todays internet I read was "Its like having a formula one racing car but having only 3cm of road to drive it on. You pop it into first gear and you're out of road"


      Basic units fail

      100Mbps = MegaBITS per second

      10GB = GigaBYTES

      You are out by a factor of (roughly) 2^3.

      Data transfer also involves error-correction and retransmissions.

      1. Rob 44

        Re: Basic units fail

        Sigh, a user makes a valid point and you pick apart numbers. Does it make his point less valid? Don't think so.

        Perhaps with your keen eye for number detail, you could take a job in the national office for statistics. After all I'm sure they are screaming out for someone with your mathematical marvelosity. You'd probably find it a more worthwhile use of your time and who knows, it may even lead to the eventual cure of your inferiority complex.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: This all sounds great

      You won't need planning full permission for these, they come under permitted development rules. Basically, you need planning permission to put up a mast over 15M (unless it's in a conservation area, AONB, etc.), but generally, you don't need permission to erect antennae on an existing structure. The idea would be that with smaller antennae you would be able to put them in more places; however, this overlooks the fact that most landlords don't want to grant 24 hour access to the phone companies (which they neeed, should something go wrong) in exchange for the relatively small amount of rent they are willng to pay. The main problem with putting them on lampposts is that they are simply not built to take the weight - or more acurately - the force of high winds against them with additional weight at the top end. So you're back to where we are now. It will be undoubtedly easier to find space for these new lightweight antennae on existing structures, but I can't see it significantly affecting the average cell size.

  4. FuzzNChips

    Add FTTH (Fibre to the home) to this and ....

    voilá, home broadband consumers will start subsidising the cost of the mobile network, pretty much in the same way we are already doing with our handsets.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Does it come with a free tinfoil hat?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      is NO safe lower limit with Microwave radiation

      (the same principles apply as Hard Gamma/X-ray radiation)

      were gonna need a lot more tin foil hats! if not tinfoil/silver fibre suits to survive the epidemic of cancer causing masts.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why separate mast networks for separate phone companies?

    Why not a transmission netywrok provider, much like Arqiva do for TV transmission.

    One lot of masts instead of the oft seen silly spectacle of three or more masts within a few yards of each other.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Why separate mast networks for separate phone companies?

      And why is Telefonica's getting the glory in this story? They've successfully thrown money at Alcatel Lucent to produce the technology and purchased a demo pad from Samsung to show off at the MWC?

      I hope for their subscribers' sake that that download speed was achieved on a separate network...

  7. Tom 38

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 hitting a download speed of 49Mb/s and 12Mb/s up

    Awesome. Do we all get one cell per device, or will it be like 3G, and won't work particularly effectively when there are 20,000 people trying to access it (welcome to the City of London).

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