Mobile network operator O2 have revealed plans to test high-speed mobile internet speeds, or 4G; in London as part of a pilot project rumoured to take place over the next nine months with businesses including John Lewis.
The trial will run across 25 mobile masts covering 40km using 4G equipment; it will let users access services such as online gaming and video – streaming (see image below)
O2 have issued a statement claiming that the trial will provide 1,000 participating customers with internet speeds comparable to those currently available via a landline connection. It will be accessed using a broadband dongle which will connect to a computer via a USB connection; this is simply because 4G handsets are not readily available on the market here in the UK.
The pilot network will support a whopping 100Mbps as well 4G wireless hotspots. To give you an idea of how fast this connection is; A 3G connection would take 5 minutes to download a 500MB file whereas these speeds will download the same sized file in just under minute.
Count yourself lucky if you are employed by John Lewis or a reader of tech website Gizmodo or you’re a present music fan at the O2 Arena; you guys will be the first and only people to access services such as 4G live music video and film streaming demonstrations as part of the trial.
Ronan Dunne, O2’s CEO has stated “The work we are doing now will lay the foundations for our commercial 4G network when it launches in the UK [following next year’s spectrum launch].”
“The forthcoming spectrum auction is a watershed moment for the UK mobile industry, which will see the release of the airwaves capable of powering a whole range of exciting next-generation mobile services,” added Dunne.
Although this is a breakthrough; there have been many criticisms and complaints aimed at of Ofcom for applying for a 4G license which is due to take place at the end of next year; simply because operators have not cracked a solid and consistent 3G connection as of yet here in the UK.