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ZOMG

Oh, this is exciting. Last week we told you that government telecoms body Ofcom had finally set out its plans for the UK's transition to '4G' mobile services, better known as LTE. Well, O2 aren't messing about - they've just begun a trial of their 4G service in Slough, of all places.

And the trial offers a glimpse of how powerful 4G is going to be. O2 have equipped six masts in Slough with the technology, and they say that those six masts alone can handle the same amount of data traffic as - wait for it - their entire UK 3G network.

We'll say it again: ZOMG. (For the uninitiated, that's geek-speak for 'OMG'.)

Now, don't get too excited. 4G services are at least two years away for most of us, and when they first arrive they won't be that much better than the high-speed 3G services we have now. In the US, where LTE has already launched, users are getting speeds as low as 5mbps - not much more than 3G. But as investment increases and the technology is refined, speeds are going to go up and up - until, in a few years, 4G should offer faster mobile internet than your home broadband.

Then we'll all disconnect our home broadband and live crazy, tablet-y, always-connected lifestyles. And the resulting surge in traffic will mean 4G, too, will grind to a halt, and we'll all start yearning for 5G. And so on, and so on, until the sweet embrace of the grave.

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