Cornwall to trial superfast 4G mobile broadband

BT has joined forces with Orange and T-Mobile to trial superfast 4G mobile broadband.

BT and Everything Everywhere, which covers both the Orange and T-Mobile networks, are looking for volunteers to take part in a new superfast mobile broadband trial in Cornwall.

Running from September to December this year in South Newquay, the trial will aim to bring faster broadband to hard-to-reach rural areas.

The test will be the first time that consumers will be able to use 4G mobile broadband, which has the potential to deliver speeds of 100Mb or more.

Tom Alexander, chief executive at Everything Everywhere, said: "Our ambition is to have the best 4G network and be pioneers in enabling Britain's superfast wireless future.

"The government has previously stated its desire for the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, and we hope to help this vision become a reality."

Alexander added: "We strongly believe that, by sharing our network and mobile assets in this way, we can make a valuable contribution to rural broadband services."

The service will connect 700 homes and businesses currently stuck in "notspots" with little or no broadband access at all. Using a technology called LTE, or Long Term Evolution, BT and Everything Everywhere plan to get these people online wirelessly - eliminating the expensive cost of digging up roads to lay fibre cables.

Anyone living in the St Newlyn East area of South Newquay can register their interest in the 4G trial online.

Half of homes on the trial will receive a modified wireless router to pick up the 4G signal, while the other half will use a superfast dongle to get online.

4G services run on the 800Mhz spectrum, which is currently used for analogue TV - though this is gradually being freed-up as the UK switches to digital.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom plans to auction off the 4G spectrum in early 2012, though BT and Everything Everywhere have been granted a portion of the network for testing.

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