Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale have teamed up to pilot next generation 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) high speed broadband to customers.
The trial, which is a first for the UK, will see the two providers sharing their technology to provide high speed wireless broadband to customers in rural Cornwall.
Running between September and December the test scheme will involve up to 100 mobile and 100 fixed line customers living around the St Newlyn East area of South Newquay, Cornwall. Involving customers who live in extremely rural areas, who currently get low speeds or are unable to get broadband altogether, the pilot will utilise 2 x 10MHz of test 800MHz spectrum. The aim is to assess the viability of using this method as a “compelling and long term complementary solution” to fixed broadband technology.
Tom Alexander, CEO, Everything Everywhere (a partnership between Orange and T-Mobile), said: “Our ambition is to have the best 4G network and be pioneers in enabling Britain’s superfast wireless future. 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. The Government has previously stated its desire for the UK to have the best in class superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, and we hope to help this vision become a reality.”
Sally Davis, CEO of BT Wholesale, said: “BT is committed to bringing the highest speed broadband to everyone in the UK, whether that’s over fibre, copper or airwaves. 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.”
The trial will take place at test sites south of Newquay in Cornwall, providing a combined coverage area of 25 square kilometres, with approximately 700 premises which currently have no or limited access to broadband. Everything Everywhere will also look to test 4G enabled mobile handsets and broadband dongles as part of the test.
Residents who would like to participate in the scheme, which is free of charge, can register their interest at www.4Gwirelessbroadbandtrial.co.uk.