How Fast is 4G LTE ?

CableFree LTE ongoing releases

Question: How Fast is 4G LTE ?

Answer originally posted on

The answer to this involves a few factors, including “Which LTE” as several versions of LTE are already in use, from the start of LTE (Release 8 ) to now (Release 13), which include capacity and performance increases:

  • What Version of LTE being used: Release 12 supports 256QAM, CA. Latest “Frozen” Release is 13.
  • Channel Width: Basic channel width up to 20MHz supported
  • 2×2 MIMO or higher? DL up to 8 and UL up to 4 is supported
  • Are you allowing for Carrier Aggregation?
    If available (operator spectrum/equipment) then you can multiply up the capacity by N (2 to 5, typically) up to 100MHz channel
  • Type of UE: UE class/category makes a huge difference. CAT4 UE supports 150Mbps DL and 50Mbps UL. More sophisticated UEs have better MIMO support: a desktop or outdoor UE with 4×4 MIMO antennas can support higher rates than a small device with only 2×2
  • Distance from the tower/base station: affects capacity significantly

Category 8 UE can support theoretical DL of 3000Mbps and UL of 1500Mbps
Category 14 UE can support theoretical DL of 3900Mbps and UL of 1500Mbps

The difference between TDD and FDD performance of course depends on the UL/DL ratio in TDD as well.

CableFree LTE Base Station

CableFree LTE-A eNodeB Base Station, featuring 2×2 MIMO, Carrier Aggregation. Other versions support 4×4 MIMO. Software Defined Radio supports LTE Release 13 and future software upgrades

The 3GPP defines the LTE standard and roadmap from 4G and future 5G

CableFree LTE ongoing releases
CableFree LTE ongoing releases

A useful page summarising LTE releases is here:
3GPP LTE Releases

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