Alcatel-Lucent and Arqiva have announced a trial of '4G' LTE mobile broadband technology in the west of Wales.
The Preseli Mountains trial, which is using 800MHz spectrum and aims for speeds in excess of 50Mbps — today's HSPA technology provides a theoretical maximum of 14Mbps — was revealed on Wednesday. According to the companies, LTE will provide a way to reach the last 10 percent of UK households that are unable to access wired broadband services.
Arqiva, which owns and runs much of the UK's broadcast infrastructure, intends to offer wholesale LTE network access to all service providers and new entrants into the UK communications market.
"We firmly believe that the combination of LTE technology, the 800MHz spectrum and a neutral-host commercial model is the best way of providing rural communities with broadband quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively," Steve Holebrook, managing director of Arqiva's Government, Mobile & Enterprise business, said in a statement.
The trial is not unique — Clear Mobitel is also trialling LTE in the 800MHz band, only in Cornwall rather than West Wales. Spectrum in the band will go on auction in 2012.