The future of 4G in the UK gets slightly closer with Everything Everywhere detailing a further trial of the new technology in Cumbria has now gone live.
I realize that in many parts of the world having LTE is not a new thing but in good old Blighty we are somewhat lagging behind.
Everything Everywhere have already conducted one successful trial of 4G in Cornwall where they not only achieved some impressive speeds but also provided a rural community with mobile broadband in an area which barely had any kind of broadband at all.
A faster network can only help improve the Android market share. Now we just have to wait for the government to give Everything Everywhere the go-ahead to roll out the service nationwide and have the LTE chips built into future handsets.
I had a meeting with the company last month where they explained that they are already installing the necessary hardware into current cell sites throughout the UK, ready for the 'big switch on' whenever that may be. Fingers crossed for the end of the year.
You can see today's press release after the break.
Everything Everywhere has announced that the UK’s first customer 4G LTE trial in the North of England is now live in Cumbria, with several local business triallists experiencing the benefits of faster and more reliable mobile broadband. The trial was launched in May by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, and local MP, Rory Stewart.
Employees of various local businesses in the Threlkeld area are testing 4G LTE using both dongles and routers. The trial is achieving speeds of 20 Mpbs, allowing the businesses to achieve new levels of productivity. The area was selected as the location for the trial as it currently has insufficient or unreliable broadband.
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 Cumbria will be key to understanding how this LTE technology will perform in real life conditions.
The triallists include a regional office of United Utilities, the Blencathra Centre field studies educational facility situated on the side of Blencathra Mountain, the King Kong Climbing Wall, a manufacturing company and multiple web developers.
The trial follows research from Coleman-Parkes that reveals that 93% of business leaders want 4G in the UK as soon as possible.
Corin Burdon, Keswick Web Design: “Having recently been accepted onto Everything Everywhere's 4G trial in Threlkeld I'm pleased to say the benefits to my business have been immediately noticeable with a large increase in consistent and useable connection speeds, which are typically 3-4 times faster than my existing landline broadband. The quality of the connection has been particularly noticeable with file upload speed and transfers via FTP. On several occasions transfers I would have left overnight on my traditional broadband connection - only to see errors and drop outs the next day - have been accomplished easily and quickly while continuing to work on websites in the background. 4G has taken the load in its stride even while multiple users are connected.”
Tim Foster, Head of the Field Studies Council, Blencathra Centre: “The 4G trial allows us to stream data faster, improving the fieldwork for the 200 schools and universities who stay at Blencathra. We are currently involved with IT and Web developers to create an app that students could use to record river data on their own smartphones out in the field. This will enable them to open the page on their phone web browser, enter their data and then send it to a central server where we could access everything already collated. The introduction of 4G would make this app a reality, alongside the increasing use of social media to improve our marketing opportunities via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.”
Paul Ward, King Kong Climbing Walls: “We are pleased to trial the new 4G LTE technology and are already reaping the benefits of faster download and upload speeds. The trial is improving our online work flow and communications with clients.”
Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, said: "I am pleased to see Cumbria at the forefront of innovation and most importantly our local business and residents finally being able to access the internet. Let's hope that this service starts to become commercially available in the UK as soon as possible."
The trial service is running on existing 1800 MHz airwaves used by the Orange and T-Mobile mobile networks and will provide Everything Everywhere with additional learnings on the performance of 4G LTE over 1800 MHz in rural areas.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of Everything Everywhere, said: “Business will benefit hugely from fast mobile broadband connectivity and the growth, investment and jobs that it will deliver. The UK must start catching up now with the nearly 40 other countries that have deployed 4G LTE to maintain its competitiveness.”