Everything Everywhere and BT wholesale kick-off 4G live trial
UK's first customer trial of 4G mobile broadband goes live in Cornwall.
- 200 triallists in Cornwall now testing UK’s first mobile and fixed line broadband network collaboration
- Landmark trial will examine the potential of 4G LTEi technology for broadband 'not-spots'
Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale today announced that the first live trial of next generation 4G LTE¹ broadband in the UK has begun in Cornwall. The landmark trial sees the two companies collaborate to provide wireless broadband to approximately 200 customers living in St. Newlyn East and the surrounding area of South Newquay, which has low or no broadband service available.
The customer trial, the UK's first test of an LTE solution which can be deployed to both mobile and fixed line customers, follows a successful eight week laboratory trial which rigorously tested the network deployment in simulated conditions. The purpose of the laboratory testing was to prove it would be possible to share, manage and optimise valuable radio resources between two service providers. The field trial will now examine the experience of live triallists to help both Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale test and better understand realistic 4G LTE speeds, as well as general mobile broadband data service conditions in rural areas.
As data speeds can vary due to a number of factors including the number of people using the network, physical factors such as distance to a mast, building density and geographical terrain, the live network trial in Cornwall will be key to understanding how this LTE technology will perform in real life conditions.
One hundred mobile and one hundred fixed-wireless broadband triallists living in a 25 square kilometre area in Cornwall will test the application of 4G LTE as a shared fixed and mobile platform, using 10MHz of test 800MHz spectrum. The trial, which attracted more than 400 local residents to register through an open invitation, was kicked off with a series of Everything Everywhere and BT workshops and home visits to familiarise all participants with the technology, test conditions and the feedback assessments during the live field trial.
Throughout the trial, which is set to run until early next year, Everything Everywhere and BT triallists will have access to a dedicated help desk and support website, where they can report their experience in the user forum, complete set tasks and raise questions. There will also be regular focus groups to gain further insight into the trial experience.
Olaf Swantee, CEO, Everything Everywhere, said: "Soon, more people will be accessing the internet on their mobile devices than on their PCs, and that means we need the right kind of networks in place to deliver the right kind of experience for our customers. That's why, as the UK's largest communications company, we are leading the development and introduction of new technologies like 4G. This next generation mobile network will allow individuals and businesses across Britain to access the people, places and things they want, wherever they are, whenever they want."
Nigel Stagg, CEO, BT Wholesale said: "BT is committed to working with the government and using technology innovation to find ways of addressing the remaining challenges within the UK where there are still broadband ;not-spots'. The final ten per cent of the country is exceedingly difficult to reach with the available standard fixed line solutions. Our proof of concept trial in Cornwall will test the capabilities and services that a shared fixed and mobile data network can support and is just one of the options, along with fibre and other mobile and wireless technologies that we are looking at to offer a possible solution to the rural broadband challenge."
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Notes to editors
i LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution technology is a fourth-generation (4G) telecommunication technology.
The trial is being implemented with support from technology partners Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei.
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In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group's revenue was £20,076m with profit before taxation of £1,717m. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
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EE is the most advanced digital communications company in Britain, providing mobile and fixed line services to 27 million customers, and will soon become the first company in the UK to provide 4G mobile services alongside fixed-line fibre.
EE is the company that runs the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK, and will be launching its new superfast 4G brand – EE – in the coming weeks.
Its 4G service will cover a third of the population by the end of 2012 and its fibre service will cover 50% of the population by the end of the year.
EE's mobile service currently provides coverage to 99% of the population with 2G and 98% of the population with 3G
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