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BT and Everything Everywhere to trial LTE in Cornwall

Residents of South Newquay will trial speedy LTE mobile-broadband services between September and December this year, as the telecoms giants seek to get more rural areas surfing the Web.

A high-speed LTE mobile network will be trialled among a select group of Cornwall residents later this year, as part of a collaboration between BT and Everything Everywhere.

The trial is intended to test the feasibility of bringing high-speed wireless broadband services to rural areas that have slow Internet connections or none at all. It will cover approximately 25 square miles and some 700 properties between September and December this year, theoretically providing Internet speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Up to 100 residents of South Newquay will be provided with modified wireless routers that will provide their homes with Internet access. Another 100 people or so will be given LTE dongles for use with laptops and other gadgets.

Mobile networks are just itching to slap the '4G' moniker alongside LTE. Although the new technology provides faster Web speeds than the UK's current 3G networks, only certain types of LTE are fast enough to warrant the 4G title. Don't expect excitable companies, particularly those investing heaps of money in new networks, to stop touting 4G, though.

O2 has already conducted LTE trials in Slough, with apparently encouraging results. A similar trial in Wales is also looking to bring high-speed Internet access to those living outside the urban jungle.

Ofcom is due to auction off spectrum for 4G services in 2012, with some of the spectrum freed up by the digital TV switchover. Once LTE rolls out in earnest, we may finally be able to get our hands on some of those lovely US handsets that use it.