Everything Everywhere has kicked off a 4G LTE trial in the North of England that uses the somewhat controversial 1800MHz band of spectrum.
The company launched the trial, which will run until the end of July, on Wednesday in Cumbria. The test will centre around the Threlkeld area of Cumbria, Everything Everywhere said. The service was switched on by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.
"Cumbria has unique needs due to its sparse population and long distances, which 4G LTE will help overcome," Gove said in a statement. "Cumbria's schools and educational opportunities will be revolutionised by this technology."
The service will support up to 50 trial participants and the company hopes it will "provide learnings on the performance of 4G LTE" in rural areas.
Gove said that in addition to providing schools with new opportunities, 4G connectivity would also provide benefits to local business and health services.
"Cumbria's record number of small businesses will be transformed by this next generation technology. 4G will bring jobs to rural areas and all the benefits of super-fast broadband in education and health to its remote communities," he said.
In order to permanently use the 1800MHz band for 4G services, Everything Everywhere would need Ofcom approval to 'refarm' portions of its 2G spectrum in the 1800MHz band.
However, rival operators are unhappy that Ofcom is "minded" to allow the refarming to take place, as it would allow Everything Everywhere to begin selling 4G services well in advance of the 4G spectrum auction planned for towards the end of 2012.
On Wednesday, ZDNet UK went hands-on with UK Broadband's 4G service in Southwark, London. The company said it will start selling direct to customers from "within the next week or so".
Unlike Everything Everywhere's trial, Broadband UK's service uses the 3.5GHz band of spectrum for TD-LTE 4G services.