We recently made an extensive and complete radiography of the best smartphones processors of 2017. From the most used, the Snapdragon 835, to more exclusive, like the Apple A11 Bionic or the Exynos 8895, to the last known the Kirin 970 that premiered the Huawei Mate 10, all except the Helio X30 are able to offer 1 Gbps or even 1.2 Gbps of maximum download speed thanks to the modems they integrate.
With the introduction of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, which carries within it the X20 modem that allows to reach 1.2 Gbps, smartphones capable of exceeding (in theory) the giga of download will be popularized in 2018. All very nice yes, but there are an important part of the story without which those speeds will not be possible: mobile networks and these are not yet ready to reach those speeds.
Currently only the different versions of the Huawei Mate 10 that carry a Kirin 970 inside and the newly released Honor View 10 have the category 18 of 4G, which on paper would allow to reach 1.2 Gbps down and 150 Mbps up. Now, that select club will grow in the first months of 2018, with the high ranges that will be presented then using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. But it is also true that although smartphones are capable of reaching those speeds, mobile networks are not ready yet.
700 Mbps download, the highest in Spain
The so-called 4G + networks began their journey in Spain promising 300 or even 450 Mbps of theoretical download in Vodafone white-label smartphones, nothing expensive, we could verify in a real environment how you could reach the 160 Mbps real download connected to a 4G + antenna, at a time when there were few users connected, a fact that also influences a lot currently in the speed achieved.
At the last Mobile World Congress, Orange held a demonstration in which 700 Mbps were achieved, which assured us that they could have been up to almost 1 Gbps in an environment with fewer users. But the truth is that at this moment the maximum theoretical speed that can be reached in Spain are 700 Mbps of the Vodafone network in Madrid and Salamanca and soon in more cities. For this the operator is adding three bands and using the 256QAM modulation.
Speed versus capacity, the debate
The truth is that in Spain little by little we approached that giga of discharge by means of 4G, that perhaps could arrive if the operators could add besides their bands with licenses part of the bands that do not require licenses, and if it is not in 2018 in 2019 is sure that we will see mobile networks capable of offering download speeds at the height of the fiber, even before the arrival of the 5G.
Of course, currently we seem to have enough with those networks that allow us to easily reach more than 100 Mbps download, although there is no doubt that we will need higher speeds every time. Here could also collide the issue of speed with data bonds of mobile rates, because they serve little leading speeds if then our rate lasts four days. But one point that perhaps should concern us is also that of capacity.
We have all suffered at some time, such as in crowded places (concerts, football matches, popular festivals), the quality of the mobile network decreased dramatically, even to the point that despite having the full coverage marker it was impossible to connect to internet. That should be the point that should occupy the engineering department of operators, that their customers do not run out of the Internet because there are thousands of users connected to the same antenna.
In fact, it is something that Spanish operators are working on and it is being noticed in recent months, with improvements in those situations that the writer here allows you to see the repetitions of the controversial moves on the mobile while I’m in San Mamés , but there is still work ahead. The future 5G will also help to improve that experience, but virtualized networks, which allow the deviation of an antenna’s network capacity at the click of a button, will improve that aspect before 2020.