LTE smartphones trickle out in Europe

Users is Germany and Sweden can now get their hands on LTE smartphones

Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom in Germany have started selling smartphones and tablets with LTE, as European operators slowly start to expand their offerings beyond modems.

On March 1, Vodafone launched the HTC Velocity 4G, the first LTE smartphone in Germany, the operator said on Monday at the Cebit trade show.

Vodafone will also start selling a second LTE smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S2 LTE, in the beginning of April. A tablet from Asus and another smartphone from HTC, which will be better than the Velocity 4G, are also on the way, according to Thomas Krause, who is responsible for Vodafone Germany's LTE offerings for enterprises.

German operators were among the first to launch commercial LTE services in Europe, but started with rural areas with USB modems, because that was a condition of getting the necessary spectrum licenses. But this year they are adding more big cities along with more devices.

A quick informal test, using the Speed Test app, of the Galaxy S II LTE in Vodafone's booth resulted in a download speed of 46.4M bps and an upload speed of 10.8M bps. Vodafone is promising download speeds at up to 50M bps.

The addition of smartphones is important because consumers use smartphones more than USB modems to access the Internet, Krause said.

Vodafone also demonstrated telephony and video calls over LTE. But that probably won't arrive until the middle of next year, according to Krause.

Deutsche Telekom is taking a more cautious approach, starting with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE, and then it plans to add at least one smartphone in June, according to a spokesman at the operator.

The news comes as Samsung last month said Tele2 and TeliaSonera would start selling the Galaxy S II LTE in Sweden.

Still, Europe is lagging behind the U.S. when it comes to LTE.

One reason for the lack of phones is that European operators haven't been as aggressive as their U.S. counterparts when it comes to rolling out LTE, Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight, recently said. Also, the auctioning of spectrum has taken much longer in Europe.

Besides Germany and Sweden, commercial LTE services are also available in Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland, as of the beginning of January, according to industry organization GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association).

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?