Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale have announced a trial of LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology in what they are calling the first live customer test in the UK of the new mobile broadband technology. LTE is commonly referred to as 4th generation (4G) mobile technology and provides the potential of offering high-speed mobile communications. Whilst it doesn't technically meet the ITU standards for a 4G technology, its speeds of up to 100Mbps do offer a big improvement over what is currently available using mobile networks.
The trial will take place in the St Newlyn East area of Newquay, Cornwall from September and run in to next year, involving around 100 fixed and 100 mobile customers. The intentions are to test LTE capabilities in the 800MHz spectrum for customers in rural areas who currently get low or slow speeds and are difficult or expensive to reach through traditional fixed broadband technology.
"We strongly believe that, by sharing our network and mobile assets in this way, we can make a valuable contribution to the economics of rural broadband services. Our work with BT is providing a test bed for new technologies such as 4G LTE which, with the correct allocation of sub 1GHz spectrum from the Government, has the potential to make a real impact on the way in which we communicate in the future. The government has previously stated its desire for the UK to have the best in class superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, and we hope to help this vision become a reality."Tom Alexander, (CEO) Everything Everywhere
"BT is committed to bringing the highest speed broadband to everyone in the UK, whether that's over fibre, copper or airwaves. This is a great mixed economy example of innovation and collaboration by two organisations pushing the boundaries of technology for the benefit of customers. The expectation of what we will learn is truly exciting, as much for the customers who are unable to get a broadband service in a number of rural communities across the country."Sally Davis, (CEO) BT Wholesale
Everything Everywhere will also be testing the capabilities of mobile handsets and dongles to see how the technology works on the move. The trial is offered to customers for free and users in the area are encouraged to register their interest at www.4Gwirelessbroadbandtrial.co.uk. LTE is not expected to be available in the UK until 2013 or 2014, but this could be brought forward to the end of this year if through a European Commission decision. It's unlikely we will see the full potential of LTE technology until the 800MHz spectrum is made available for this use however.