You can thank early adopters for making your current phone's internet faster

Buying a state-of-the-art phone will not only give you improved speeds for downloading apps and streaming video, you’ll also be helping all those still using older devices.

TechRadar attended a Gigabit LTE showcase in London where the next generation of network was demoed, and it’s good news for every mobile user – no matter how old your smartphone is.

Gigabit LTE is a stepping stone on the path to 5G, and UK carrier EE already provides the superfast connection in some major cities in the UK where users can get speeds of up to 400Mbps+ if they're lucky – that is some seriously quick download times!

Roberto Di Pietro, VP of Business Development Qualcomm added “Gigabit LTE will give us an average user experience which is much better than what we have now – for both new and legacy devices – even in crowded areas.”

A better experience for all

The improved experience for all is down to the fact handsets that support Gigabit LTE use data far more efficiently, spending less time on the network to perform their tasks and thus freeing up more space for other users.

You’ll need a handset compatible with the new network technology to take advantage of this though. At the moment only the Sony Xperia XZ Premium in the UK can do so, but Qualcomm expects a number of major manufacturers to launch phones before the end of the year which can offer the same support.

The carriers in your country will also need to provide a Gigabit LTE network. It's limited at the moment, but there are 26 operators in 18 countries planning or trialing Gigabit LTE as we speak - so within the next year or so the service will be more widely available.

What this means is as more and more people upgrade their phones to ones that support Gigabit LTE, the rest of us on older devices will still benefit as more space will become available for our phones to use.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.