4G Mobile Broadband Trial Starts
Published: 12 October 2011 By Julian Stone Leave a Comment
Telecom operators BT and Everything Everywhere (the joint company of Orange and T-Mobile) have started a 4G mobile broadband trial in Cornwall.
The trial will test 4G, otherwise known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless services, which should offer faster mobile broadband speeds. It will test if it is a viable option to compliment fixed line broadband services in those rural areas which experience poor broadband speed as they are a long way from the telephone exchange.
The hope is then that4G can be used to deliver broadband in these rural areas as part of the government’s broadband strategy, otherwise BT’s planned fixed line network upgrade is only scheduled to cover around 70% of properties and to be focused on more densely populated areas.
Around 200 people in St Newlyn East and South Newquay are participating in the trial, half of them have 4G wireless routers in their homes and half have 4G dongles for their laptops.
The trial is expected to last until early next year and those participating get free access to the faster broadband services in return for providing feedback on their connection performance.
The 4G LTE technology is one of the options BT is looking at to provide suitable broadband capability in rural areas. Other options include fibre and other mobile and wireless technologies.
Ofcom is scheduled to auction national licences next year in the 800MHz spectrum which is where the 4G networks operate, however it will not be for some time thereafter that any 4G LTE coverage will go live.
In contrast many other countries, including the US, are already rolling out 4G services.
MoneyHighStreet comments: “The start of this trial is of course welcomed but it does seem we in the UK are somewhat lagging behind many other countries in our rollout of 4G services.
“With the internet playing a larger part in many of our lives, particularly if you run an internet business, broadband speeds and reliability are becoming a vital requirement. You need to be able to get these whether you are in a highly populated town or a rural village location.
“Let’s hope we see 4G sooner than the widely anticipated 2014.”