O2 has commenced trials of the 4G mobile data technology Long Term Evolution (LTE) in London in a nine-month period which could give users download speeds of 50Mbps and higher.
Participants in the trial will be given dongles that will allow their computers to access the 2.6GHz spectrum, which historically has been used for TV signals.
More than 25 4G sites will go live across London this month, covering a combined area of 40 sq kilometres, between now and summer 2012. The network will stretch from Hyde Park to The O2 in Greenwich and has been designed to cover key areas of the capital, including Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster, South Bank and Kings Cross.
The network will enable O2 to provide a mobile internet experience comparable to the fastest landline fibre home broadband connections, unlocking a wealth of services, including high-speed corporate LAN access, high-definition film and music streaming, mobile online gaming and high-speed access to social networks.
At these speeds, the time to download a 500MB file could be as fast as less than one minute, compared to more than five minutes on 3G.
O2 lays foundations for 4G commercial launch in UK
Ronan Dunne, chief executive Officer of Telefónica UK (O2), said: “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. The work we are doing now will lay the foundations for our commercial 4G network when it launches in the UK.”
O2 will provide trialists with Samsung B3730 mobile broadband dongles, supporting speeds of up to 100Mbps, as well as 4G personal wireless hot spots and handsets from a number of other vendors. More than 1,000 individuals are expected to take part.
The timing of the trial could be quite interesting from the perspective that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is coming to Europe this week (17 November) and it has been rumoured it will come with either 4G LTE or HSPA connectivity.
In related news, its parent company Telefónica, along with Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), has developed and successfully proved a secure, pre-standard solution for remotely managing machine-to-machine (M2M) SIMs subscription data based on the principles of the embedded SIM.
A live test has proven the secure transfer of a subscription from Telefónica Spain to a Telefónica UK one over the air. With this type of remote subscription management, device makers can manufacture devices with M2M SIMs on a cost-optimised production setup, while mobile network operators (MNOs) can customise their M2M connectivity offerings for this specific target market.
With this trial, and in cooperation with Samsung and Telit Wireless Solutions, both G&D and Telefónica demonstrate that the solution for remote subscription management works. This successful test will also provide important input for the ongoing standardisation in order to improve the subscription management concept.
Main cornerstones of this trial are the subscription management-enabled M2M SIMs, a subscription management platform – hosted in a secure G&D environment – and an MNO-specific portal developed by Telefónica.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus