Arqiva, Alcatel-Lucent trial LTE for rural broadband

Arqiva and Alcatel-Lucent have revealed a Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology trial in Wales. The trial demonstrates the economic and technical viability of a neutral-host wireless network as a route to extending broadband Internet services to areas with no broadband coverage (‘notspots’) and those with speeds lower than 2Mbits/s throughout the UK, estimated at 10% of UK households.

This is the first live LTE trial in the UK to use the 800MHz spectrum freed up by digital TV switchover and can deliver speeds of over 50Mbit/s. The Preseli Mountains area has already switched to digital TV and combines low population density with dispersed communities, making it typical of areas that can’t be reached economically with the existing fixed networks.

Commenting on the announcement Lakh Jemmett, Alcatel-Lucent’s President, North Europe said: “LTE technology offers the potential to accelerate the availability of broadband services to individuals and businesses that do not have access to services that many of us take for granted. It also paves the way for access to a plethora of new applications.”

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