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Salem also said the company had been upgrading its 2G and 3G technology at the same time as upgrading cell sites to be able to handle 4G technology. Included in the upgrades was fibre-based gigabit ethernet backhaul.
"An important part of the rollout phase of 4G is that there is a really strong 3G network behind it as well," Salem said. "In order to have credible 4G, you need to have credible 3G as your fallback. You can't have such a huge speed drop as you go beyond the edge of coverage. It takes years to do that."
The image above shows a 4G-enabled iPhone 5 speed test history that illustrates the problems of variability and use-load. The same speed tests run within just minutes of each other returned results between just over 5.5Mbps and just under 40Mbps.
Image: Ben Woods