The major 4G mobile broadband trial that is currently run by BT and Everything Everywhere in Cornwall has been given further extension of six months by the UK communications regulator Ofcom.
With the current 3G mobile networks having the capacity to offer download speed of up to 7.2Mbps, the LTE (Long Term Evolution) based next generation mobile data technology can deliver speeds of over 30Mbps with wider coverage.
According to Ofcom, a fourth of UK (geographically) do not have 3G coverage and the average mobile broadband speed across the UK is just over 1.5Mbps.
Next generation 4G mobile broadband also uses low frequency radio spectrum as well as the spectrum bands which are left unused for commercial purposes.
BT, the one of the partners that rollout 4G mobile data service is the UK’s largest broadband provider which has a task of covering more than two thirds of UK population with its fibre optic broadband which can deliver speed of up to 100Mbps within next four years.
However, rural Britain could lag behind the urban places which easily get private sector investment on building broadband infrastructure. Around 10% of UK, which is largely comprised of rural areas, hope to get faster internet access via mobile broadband and other alternative technologies.
“This trial is enabling us to see at first hand the real difference LTE is making in rural Cornwall and how it could provide an alternative mode of delivery in rural areas to complement fibre delivered broadband.” said Nigel Stagg, the Chief Executive of BT Wholesale.
The trial was launched in October 2011 and according to the claims of the service providers, the volunteers, during the trial, could get up to 7Mbps.
“This trial has been key in investigating ways to rapidly bring 4G LTE to Britain, and Ofcom is helping us do the groundwork to accelerate the UK from laggard to leader.” Olaf Swantee the CEO of Everything Everywhere.
“There’s no doubt that fixed line solutions offer a faster and more reliable broadband service, but there isn’t a single silver bullet to meet the rural broadband challenge. We continue to also assess other potential solutions including other mobile and wireless technologies.” Nigel added.