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Everything Everywhere and BT trial 4G network in Cornwall

David Ludlow
25 May 2011
Everything Everywhere and BT trial 4G network in Cornwall
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Super-fast wireless broadband coming to the UK

Cornwall continues its rise as one of the best connected places, after it was announced that it would get the UK's first 4G network, just a couple of months after getting a brand new fibre network.

Everything Everywhere (the joint Orange and T-Mobile networks) and BT have joined forces to trial 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the UK. The aim of the project is to test the system for delivering wireless broadband to rural areas, hence the choice of Cornwall for the demonstration.

"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," said Tom Alexander, CEO of Everything Everywhere. "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 two companies will share their fixed telecommunications and mobile technology to enable the trial, which will use 2x 10MHz of 800MHz spectrum. Residents of St Newlyn East and the surrounding are being asked to register their interest to take place in the trial at www.4gwirelessbroadbandtrial.co.uk. All together up to 100 mobile and 100 fixed line customers will eventually take part in the test.

When the kit is in place, a combined area of 25 square kilometres will be covered, which will provide internet access to 700 homes that have previously only limited or no access. Speeds of the service have not yet been set, but the trial looks set to give people at least 2Mbit/s in order to match government targets, rather than trying to beat speed records.

4G LTE is the next generation of mobile networking, providing speeds far in excess of current 3G networks. In the UK 4G networks will use the bandwidth left free when analogue TV services are turned off for good this September. Ofcom, the communications' watchdog, will then auction the spectrum off in 2012.

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