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4G LTE trial comes to Cumbria
Tuesday 26 June 2012 18:42:16 by Andrew Ferguson

Businesses in the Threlkeld area of Cumbria are enjoying the benefits of faster broadband via 4G LTE technology, with reports showing speeds of 20 Mbps from the service courtesy of Everything Everywhere who are utilising their existing 1800 MHz spectrum.

The trial area has been specifically selected for its challenging conditions, so that the operator can get a good idea of what LTE is capable of in the real world. So far if the 20 Mbps is the maximum possible, it seems to suggest LTE has some way to go before it can beat a full fibre connection, which some LTE advocates suggest.

If the UK sticks to just wanting to meet its own 2 Mbps USC, then 4G LTE looks set to offer a potential solution, though whether the costs of data usage will allow users to exploit the average 17GB monthly data usage Ofcom reported in 2011. This usage figure is rapidly rising and thus represents a significant question mark.

While it is easy to be sceptical of 4G LTE and services like FTTC in meeting speed targets, for those seeing their speed boosted from around the 1 Mbps mark, to figures of 20 to 35 Mbps the number of online services this makes available is very wide, hence peoples enthusiasm for services that may not be the gold standard i.e. full fibre connections.


Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 5 years ago
What is FTTC/P, never heard of it.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
LTE is never going to beet fibre. Everyone in Threlkeld will be using the same bit of spectrum with a maximum capability less than that of a single FTTP connection.

The broadcast / shared nature of wireless seems beyond the comprehension of many.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

And for those of us which will never see FTTC?

Currently my phone on HSPA+ outguns my DSL line.
Posted by timmay over 5 years ago
We know LTE can do more than 20Mbps, other countries have proven this is possible. The reason for the lower speeds is likely to do with running in a channel alongside 2G/3G and perhaps a 'thin' channel with low power.

LTE needs a bandwidth of 20Mhz and 4x4 mimo to get to ~300Mbps but EE will likely only have a 5-10Mhz and perhaps 2x2 mimo at best.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
Last time I looked the proponents of LTE were quoting about 4 Mbits/s per MHz as a realistic sector throughput - so 80 MBits/s total capacity in an area ?

@otester "never" is a long time, but there will be plenty that never see LTE either.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
If you look abroad the general rule is up to 50Mbps, average actual throughput being 10-20Mbps on cell phones.


Well that's what happens if you live in the middle of nowhere lol.
Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
At least EE are getting off their backsides are looking into faster connections in rural areas unlike BT who have never really done anything for rural areas.

My HSPA+ speeds here (also with EE) are now also catching up with my Sky broadband speeds and yes I'm considered to live in a rural area here.

Mobile broadband will over-take fixed line broadband in many areas in the UK (especially rural areas)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Nothing wrong with having a go at BT, but they have done a previous 4G trial with EE in Cornwall, with that area now running a White Space trial.
Posted by vfast_tim over 5 years ago
I got some quotes for whitespace ... £6K per sector, x4 for a mast! And only has capacity for 20 'consumer grade' 5Mbps connections per sector!

Forget whitespace there's no point ... with the current cost and limited capacity. Dare I say it Satellite is better/cheaper.
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