Everything Everywhere 4G trial summer loving
Ofcom recently revised its plans for dealing with the 4G spectrum, announcing its aims to bring coverage to at least 98 per cent of the population.
At the moment though, there's just a handful of people in the country with access to the LTE fun; a 1,000 or so O2 users trialling a network in London and 180 customers living in and around St. Newlyn East in Cornwall on Orange or T-Mobile - or Everything Everywhere as they are collectively know.
The dual-network has just announced that it is extending its trial until June, in partnership with BT Wholesale, to enable the companies to carry on investigating the application of 4G LTE in rural areas. This is obviously crucial ahead of the big roll-out in the next couple of years.
For the trial, conducted over 10MHz of test 800MHz spectrum, one of the objectives is to prove that the low frequency spectrum (such as 800MHz) is up to the task. At the moment, it is proving more than adequate; with average download speeds around the 7Mbps mark.
Tamasin Battell a triallist said: "Before the 4G trial, my fiancé and I were using a dongle, and downloading anything was impossible it was so slow. Now, we can watch on demand television and stream music.
"Better still, my fiancé’s sister in Australia has met her four month old nephew for the first time over Skype. The extension of the trial is a godsend for me, as I really don’t want to go back to the digital dark age."
Olaf Swantee, CEO, Everything Everywhere, added: "The roll-out of 4G will help drive economic growth and create jobs across the UK by making the economy more competitive, by enabling businesses to be more productive, and by allowing consumers to benefit from the latest mobile innovations.
"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."
A final decision on the way Ofcom wants the 4G spectrum handled will be made in the summer. Don't get too excited though because we're not likely to have widespread availability in the UK until 2015.
According to an Ofcom report published in December, the roll-out of 4G mobile services won't even begin until 2013/14. The spectrum auction was supposed to happen this year but is apparently being held up by legal wrangling.
Let's hope it all gets sorted soon....
Are you eager to try out 4G? Will it help with your daily tasks? Let us know in the comments below...