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.