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First UK live customer trial of LTE announced

by Scott Bicheno on 25 May 2011, 10:37

Tags: T-Mobile (NYSE:DT), Orange (NYSE:FTE), British Telecom (LON:BT.A)

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We’re getting there

Telco giants BT Wholesale and Everything Everywhere have announced the first UK live customer trial of next-generation LTE mobile network technology in Cornwall.

The ‘proof of concept trial' is designed to see what kind of mobile broadband speeds are available in the field, and test the application of 4G LTE as a shared fixed and mobile platform. It will involve around 100 mobile and 100 fixed line punters near Newquay.

Part of the reason for the remote location of the trial is to see how LTE can help bring fixed line broadband to remote locations, where building fibre networks is economically unfeasible. If you live in that bit of Cornwall (see map below) you can apply to take part in the trial here.

Tom Alexander, CEO of Everything Everywhere, said: "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."

Sally Davis, CEO of BT Wholesale, said: "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."

Hopefully trials such as this will catalyse the roll-out of LTE networks, an area in which we currently lag the US.



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