Clearwire: We will have 168 Mbps wireless speeds in 2014

Verizon and AT&T claim they have fast 4G speeds on their LTE networks and Sprint is going to launch a similar wireless network later this year. The download speeds for those LTE connections are usually between five to 12 Mbps. Now GigaOM reports that Clearwire claims it will have a much faster network in place in 2014.

How much faster? Clearwire says that its LTE-Advanced network will have download speeds as fast as 168 Mbps. The company will use what is called carrier aggregation to basically stack carriers on top of each other. The end result is Clearwire's network will have a carrier size that's 40 MHz in width, compared to the 20 MHz width that's available for Verizon and AT&T’s current LTE network.

In fact, Clearwire could go ahead and create that carrier size right now but the technology to handle it isn't quite ready. The company's CTO John Saw says that will be all set to go in 2014.

The article points out that having such a high theoretical speed sounds good for PR but in the end, wireless carriers really want to send out a slower but consistent cell phone signal out to more people at the same time. As all wireless phone and data users know, that can be difficult under the best of circumstances.

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hows Google's plan of having thier own cell carrier working out?

Google can use AMPED WIRELESS!!!! wifi access points have have a HARDCORE ISP!!!!

The end result is Clearwire's network will have a carrier size that's 40 MHz in width, compared to the 20 MHz width that's available for Verizon and AT&T's current LTE network.

Sounds Great in theory. But when you start upping the channel width you start to get wicked bleed over from other company's. Also the higher the MHZ the harder it is to get all of that signal. You'll have to be right under the tower and then hope the other company's aren't stronger in that area.

Audi0 said,
The end result is Clearwire's network will have a carrier size that's 40 MHz in width, compared to the 20 MHz width that's available for Verizon and AT&T's current LTE network.

Sounds Great in theory. But when you start upping the channel width you start to get wicked bleed over from other company's. Also the higher the MHZ the harder it is to get all of that signal. You'll have to be right under the tower and then hope the other company's aren't stronger in that area.


Actually, Verizon is trying buy 20 Mhz of AWS Spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House.

Audi0 said,
The end result is Clearwire's network will have a carrier size that's 40 MHz in width, compared to the 20 MHz width that's available for Verizon and AT&T's current LTE network.

Sounds Great in theory. But when you start upping the channel width you start to get wicked bleed over from other company's. Also the higher the MHZ the harder it is to get all of that signal. You'll have to be right under the tower and then hope the other company's aren't stronger in that area.


Not necessarily. LTE and LTE-Advanced use carrier aggregation, meaning it transmits data over several different assigned slices of spectrum. 1 MHz @ 701 MHz + 2 MHz @ 704-705 + 7 MHz @ 710-717 MHz (for example) = a 10 MHz carrier. Obviously, one user is never allotted 10 MHz of spectrum in a carrier, but you get the idea.

We good is all that spectrum and technology if Clearwire doesn't have the money to roll its plan out?

AT&T should just buy out Clear and then AT&T will have plenty of spectrum to spare.

Edited by illegaloperation, May 12 2012, 4:41pm :

illegaloperation said,
We good is all that spectrum and technology if Clearwire doesn't have the money to roll its plan out?

AT&T should just buy out Clear and then AT&T will have plenty of spectrum to spare.

AT&T already has plenty of spectrum to spare, they are a spectrum hoarder... they buy it up just so others can't use it

neufuse said,

AT&T already has plenty of spectrum to spare, they are a spectrum hoarder... they buy it up just so others can't use it


Not as much as Verizon though.

neufuse said,

AT&T already has plenty of spectrum to spare, they are a spectrum hoarder... they buy it up just so others can't use it


Not as much as Sprint! Sprint holds all of the spectrum from Nextel, and has access to Clearwire's spectrum as well. AT&T and Verizon rank 3rd and 4th (respectively) in spectrum holdings behind Sprint and Clearwire (1st and 2nd, respectively). Taken straight from the FCC's spectrum license database (http://reboot.fcc.gov/license-view/) Sprint holds 38,624 licenses, Clearwire holds 13,839 licenses, AT&T holds 8,922 licenses, and Verizon holds 8, 248 licenses.

illegaloperation said,

Not as much as Verizon though.

AT&T actually holds just a handful more licenses than Verizon. Not much, though. Definitely not compared to Sprint.

limok said,
Theoretical/Laboratory speeds, just like standard WiFi

Probably get these speeds if you have line of sight, live in a vacuum, have zero no interference and are within 1 meter of the tower.

Figure 8 Dash said,
Sounds good. Can't wait until the carriers screw this up for us.

Get ready for 168 mbps with a 500 mb cap for only $30/month!

Enron said,

Get ready for 168 mbps with a 500 mb cap for only $30/month!

Which means..you would hit your cap at that speed in 3.4 seconds.

texasghost said,

Which means..you would hit your cap at that speed in 3.4 seconds.

actually its 168 megabits per second. To download 500 megabytes at that speed it would be......... .34 Seconds

Audi0 said,

actually its 168 megabits per second. To download 500 megabytes at that speed it would be......... .34 Seconds

So...just a misplace of the decimal point!!

Audi0 said,

actually its 168 megabits per second. To download 500 megabytes at that speed it would be......... .34 Seconds

Actually your maths are backward. It's 8 bits to the byte, so it would take about 24 seconds.

The_Decryptor said,
That's only 6 times slower than what the actual 4G specs say, so they're getting better at least.

4G spec doesn't say that you get 600 to 1000 Mbit at the device, that is per tower shared across multiple users... if clear is selling 168Mbit per user that is a different thing... verizon has LTE out right now but their towers limit a single user to 20Mbit downstream... but the tower itself is running at throughputs way higher than that

1Gbps fixed speeds are what most verizon towers run at right now and that is LTE-Advanced speeds, which is definatly 4G but to limit the user to 20Mbit doesn't mean its not a 4G network, the tower tech still is

Peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access.

So 20 Mbit is still 1/5th of the actual 4g spec lol.

-Razorfold said,

So 20 Mbit is still 1/5th of the actual 4g spec lol.

and that spec really matters much for the end user? I mean comon, the average user anything faster then 1Mbit is fast on a cell phone... to a power user 20Mbit is still extreamly fast for an internet connection on a cell phone.. The only reason we are limiting single connections to 15-20Mbit is basically because you don't want to saturate the tower's backhull or the bandwidth of the tower's radio... heck the average house on a wired landline internet connection in the USA is 10 to 20Mbit and barely anyone complains that is slow...

when verizon was testing LTE around here we got speeds up to 500Mbit on test devices but they quickly put rate limiters on it so no one user could max out a tower

neufuse said,

and that spec really matters much for the end user? I mean comon, the average user anything faster then 1Mbit is fast on a cell phone... to a power user 20Mbit is still extreamly fast for an internet connection on a cell phone..


Why does it have to be cell phone only? You can buy laptops, netbooks, tablets with HSDPA / LTE chips built in. Or if you don't have one of those, buy those wireless modems or w/e they're called.

And in a country like America where wired internet is **** and out of the stone ages because of distance (and cable provider monopoly), LTE-A at its true bandwidth could pretty much get rid of the need of having a wired internet in your house. I mean hell if I could pay $50 and get unlimited data over LTE-A, I would just get rid of my $60 cable.

And yes the internet is slow, countries like South Korea and Hong Kong (hell even parts of Eastern Europe) are pushing well over 100 mbit lines, and in America 15mbit is considered fast.

-Razorfold said,

Why does it have to be cell phone only? You can buy laptops, netbooks, tablets with HSDPA / LTE chips built in. Or if you don't have one of those, buy those wireless modems or w/e they're called.

And in a country like America where wired internet is **** and out of the stone ages because of distance (and cable provider monopoly), LTE-A at its true bandwidth could pretty much get rid of the need of having a wired internet in your house. I mean hell if I could pay $50 and get unlimited data over LTE-A, I would just get rid of my $60 cable.

And yes the internet is slow, countries like South Korea and Hong Kong (hell even parts of Eastern Europe) are pushing well over 100 mbit lines, and in America 15mbit is considered fast.

you will never get unlimited data over anything wireless in the USA... the providers just will not allow it, even sprint has a soft cap... and who says wired internet is crap? The only places you have problems is out in rural areas, if you live where 80% of the population lives the internet is excellent. I have 150Mbit connections at my house and we are no where near a large city.. you can consider 100Mbit fast, but the problem is, no one can really take advantage of that when most websites limit your throughput to start with, and most streaming sites max out at 15Mbit to start with for top quality video...

you will never get unlimited data over anything wireless in the USA... the providers just will not allow it, even sprint has a soft cap...

And that's a good thing? Maybe the government should do something about the huge monopoly two carriers in the US have. And maybe the public should stop throwing their money at them regardless of what bull**** contracts they come up with. "Oh you want faster speeds with LTE? Let's cap you at 3-5gb when you got unlimited before"

and who says wired internet is crap?

Pretty sure you're in like the top 0.5% of speeds in the US. Hell my 40mbit internet is better than 90% of ones in the US.

And sure you can take advantage of it with distributed downloads, like for example bitorrent. Microsofts CDN is also quite fast, and unless their servers are being completely hammered I can easily download at 4-5 megs / sec (pretty much maxing out my connection).

The advantage of LTE is that it could potentially replace wired internet for the vast majority of people in the US, provide superior speeds, accessible from anywhere and be cheaper. But instead since two carriers have a huge monopoly and can do pretty much whatever they want, we have limited speeds (still fast though), terribly limited data and it isn't cheaper than wired internet.

Its the same **** with wired internet, most towns have like 1 or 2 cable providers so they can essentially charge whatever they want and people have no choice but to pay.