A joint plan by BT and Everything Everywhere was revealed today to start testing a new fourth-generation mobile internet technology. LTE, short for Long Term Evolution, has picked up momentum on the other side of the Atlantic, but so far British Internet users have been left in the cold. Now, plans have been made to let a select group of testers in Cornwall use a trial service, due to go live in September.
According to The Guardian, 200 lucky initial testers will be able to try out the blazing-fast service for at least three months, during which BT will decide on the viability of a wider rollout. A combination of fixed and mobile users will have access, the first time such a trial has been done with wireless connections. The tests will take advantage of the 800MHz band, which was freed up when Cornwall switched off their analogue television service in 2009.
BT hopes that the new technology could answer the call from the previous Labour government to have every household in Britain able to access the internet at a minimum speed of 2Mbps. The Coalition government have echoed the sentiment, but the biggest problem is that providing people in remote areas with such a high speed over phone lines would be costly and inefficient. Should the new LTE tests go well, it could be what BT needs to meet the Coalition's demands.
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