Telefónica today conducted its first tests on a real 4th Generation network with LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology, installed at its Demonstrations Centre in Madrid.

The initial tests consisted of a VoIP call and a videocall using an LTE mini-network installed by Ericsson, Video conference, and data and images downloads at speeds in excess of 140 Mbps.

These are around 10 times those possible with current 3G networks using HSPA technology.

With LTE and in recent experiences from manufacturers with which Telefónica works on a regular basis, laboratory tests have been conducted showing download speeds in excess of 326 Mbps, while uploads have been possible at up to 86 Mbps.

Telefónica says that before the 4th Generation or LTE arrives, it will continue to improve the capacity of the current 3rd Generation network.

This currently gives both voice and data coverage to around 90 per cent of the Spanish population.

Half way through this year, Telefónica is to start rolling out its HSPA + technology network, unveiled at the last Mobile World Congress with 21 Mbps download transmissions. This will mean it will also be able to offer the first commercial services and data devices this year.

Information download speeds of up to 21 Mbps and 5 Mbps for sending information will be possible, as new functionalities and terminals become available, reaching 84 Mbps speeds until the arrival of LTE.

Telefónica currently covers more than 81 per cent of the Spanish population with HSDPA – for downloading information, which it expects will surpass 85 per cent by the end of the year.

With HSUPA – for sending information – this cover will reach 50 per cent by the end of 2009.

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