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Everything Everywhere Begins 4G Technology Trials in the North of England

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As our UK networks battle for pole position ahead of 4G technology coming to the UK, we’re still unsure just how long away those eye-watering speeds will be.

Not content with resting on its laurels, UK network Everything Everywhere – comprising of Orange and T-Mobile – has started the first consumer trials of 4G speeds in the North of England.

4G has been trialed by Everything Everywhere and others before, but this is the first live trial with consumers. Providing that things stay the way they are in terms of licensing the technology in the UK, the trial will broadcast 4G signals using the same airwaves that will do the job full-time later this year when everything goes live to the public.

Unfortunately the trial isn’t taking place in a highly populated area such as Manchester or Liverpool; instead it will be held in the area of Threlkeld in Cumbria, near to Blencathra, a popular peak in the Lake District.

The area has been chosen as it is a remote location where broadband is very rare, so 4G wireless technologies could solve the problem. Residents can register interest with the network, then 50 residents will be selected to participate in the trial, which will last until the end of July.

4G speeds will be broadcast by the network using the existing 1800Mhz spectrum, providing download speeds of up to 70Mbps. Everything Everywhere hopes to learn how well 4G will work in rural areas of the country ahead of a larger rollout later in the year.

Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, and local MP, Rory Stewart were chosen to turn on the trial today. Michael Gove said:

I’m really delighted to be switching on the first ever deployment of this cutting-edge technology in the North of England.

Cumbria has unique needs due to its sparse population and long distances, which 4G LTE will help overcome. Cumbria’s schools and educational opportunities will be revolutionised by this technology. Cumbria’s record number of small businesses will be transformed by this next generation technology. 4G will bring jobs to rural areas and all the benefits of superfast broadband in education and health to its remote communities.

The trial follows a smaller initial test in Cornwall, which was successful. We’re hoping to see 4G speeds broadcast in the UK by the end of the year, although the battle between our 5 major UK mobile networks for the right to the space to broadcast may push this back.

If you happen to be based in the area of Threlkeld, you can register interest for the trial here.

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