British LTE tests to start 'within six months'

Summary:O2 will conduct field tests of the successor to 3G in the coming months, making it the first operator in the UK to do so

O2 plans to test long-term evolution of 3G technology in the UK, with trials likely to take place before summer 2010.

On Wednesday, the operator's parent company Telefónica said it will launch field tests of long-term evolution (LTE), the next generation of mobile broadband technology, in six countries "during the coming months". The trials will take place in the UK, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Brazil and Argentina.

A spokesman for O2 said he believes the British trial will begin "within the next six months". No details were given as to whether the tests will involve O2 customers, or where in the UK they will take place.

The LTE trials will be the first to be carried out by any operator in the UK, although T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange have all said they intend to roll out such networks in the future.

Telefónica has named Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nokia Siemens Networks and ZTE as the initial technology suppliers for the six-month-long field tests, although the project is still open to other suppliers.

According to Telefónica, LTE will allow its operators to offer their customers peak mobile broadband speeds of up to 340Mbps "in ideal conditions". The new technology will also make it possible to utilise spectrum more flexibly and boost network capacity, the company said.

The first European commercial LTE network is scheduled by TeliaSonera to go live next year in Sweden. The US operator Verizon is also pushing for a 2010 launch of its LTE network.

Topics: Networking

About

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.