O2 gearing up for 4G trials in London

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o2_logo_3.jpgSuperfast mobile broadband is on the cusp of becoming a reality for Londoners, as O2 today announce plans to begin testing 4G connections in the UK’s capital.

Running for 9 months, the trials will see 25 4G sites created, covering 40 square kilometres in total, and taking in landmarks and areas including Hyde Park, The O2 in Greenwich and Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster, South Bank and Kings Cross.

Download speeds to as fast as 100Mbps will be possible during the trial, with 1,000 O2 customers expected to take part in the tests.

“Today’s launch of the UK’s first 4G London trial network demonstrates our commitment to delivering 4G to our customers at the earliest opportunity”, said O2’s Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive Officer.

“The work we are doing now will lay the foundations for our commercial 4G network when it launches in the UK.”

Each person testing the service will do so using a Samsung B3730 mobile broadband dongle, with the trial itself using the 2.6GHz spectrum band under a Test and Development licence granted to O2 by OFCOM.

“O2 has been at the heart of the mobile data explosion over the last three years and our priority has always been to build ahead of the curve,” continued Ronan Dunne.

“Our work in London will give us a better understanding of the capabilities of 4G technology and will allow us to explore the superfast benefits it will bring to people and industry across the UK. This 4G trial is the next step on our journey to a smarter network – a network that offers a seamless, connected experience across multiple devices, locations and services.

“The forthcoming spectrum auction is a watershed moment for the UK mobile industry, which will see the release of the airwaves capable of powering a whole range of exciting next-generation mobile services. We are actively engaged in the auction and are supportive of a fair process that meets the Government’s and Ofcom’s planned timeline.”

For more on 4G connections, check out our beginners guide by clicking here.

Gerald Lynch