Everything Everywhere has launched a 4G trial in Bristol and plans to carry out several more tests of the next generation technology during the course of the year.
David Salem, the operator’s director of network strategy and end-to-end design, said hundreds of people were working on the closed trial. He added that the ‘extensive’ testing process would examine what the customer experience of 4G will look like when it comes to market. Researchers will scrutinise average data speeds to determine exactly how the technology will differ from current 3G speeds. He said: ‘4G is a fundamentally different proposition. It’s a totally new technology and we are effectively learning from scratch.’
The operator has also launched a 4G trial in Cumbria to test its 1800MHz spectrum. Salem (pictured) said the trial was focused more on business customers without access to broadband. He added: ‘There will be more extensive trials as we look to build towards live services later this year. It depends on the status of spectrum liberalisation, and how widely we can turn on more trials.’
Salem also revealed that the operator had started a ‘small scale rollout’ of an upgraded version of 3G. Manchester was the first UK city to receive HSPA+42 and Salem said it would be rolled out gradually in the coming months according to consumer demand.
He said: ‘A customer on a conventional 3G network will get between 2-3Mbps. With HSPA+42, it will be pushed to 4Mbps.’
Earlier this year, Three announced plans to roll out its own HSPA+ 42 service this summer.