O2 Rolls Out 4G Mobile Network Trial Across London

Mobile operator O2 has begun the first large-scale trial of super-fast 4G mobile networking technology in the UK.
The trial, which covers over 15 square miles in London, is based on the LTE wireless networking standard that offers theoretical download speeds 10 times faster than current 3G technology.
Rob Joyce, O2’s head of 4G, said: “People won’t have to wait to watch video, and this will open up areas like 3D TV, and high definition videoconferencing. As soon as you press play, the movie will begin. We’ve also seen that downloading apps from the Apple store is very quick.”
Around 1,000 users will initially take part in the trial, including John Lewis, who will test it with staff throughout its stores.
However, as there are currently no mobiles in the UK which operate on an LTE network, triallists will instead be given a Samsung mobile broadband dongle to plug into their computer, or a small device that connects to the LTE network and creates a high speed WiFi hotspot, which they can then link to their existing phone .
Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica UK (O2), said: “Our work in London will give us a better understanding of the capabilities of 4G technology and will allow us to explore the superfast benefits it will bring to people and industry across the UK.”
“The work we are doing now will lay the foundations for our commercial 4G network when it launches in the UK.”
The auction for a national 4G network is expected to take place in 2012.