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T-Mobile ramping up 4G LTE in the U.K. this year

Everything Everywhere, a joint venture between T-Mobile and French carrier Orange, will push its tests of 4G LTE in the U.K. in April.

T-Mobile is looking to ramp up its rollout of 4G LTE service in the U.K. this year.

Operating under the umbrella of Everything Everywhere, a company jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, T-Mobile and Orange will kick off the first trials of 4G over the 1800MHz band across Bristol in the U.K. this April.

The new trial follows a live customer test of 4G over the 800MHz band that took place in the rural area of Cornwall in September. That initial test was a success. However, running 4G over the 1800MHz band can provide better coverage at a lower cost, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association.

Some operators in Europe already use this band, though others, especially in Asia-Pacific, use even higher frequencies for their LTE coverage.

The April trial led by T-Mobile and Orange will focus on both urban and suburban areas.

The two companies are also busy moving forward with their rollout of HSPA+ 21, sometimes dubbed 3.5G, across the U.K.

The two expect the deployment--which has so far reached 60 percent of the network--to be completed in the third quarter of 2012. Once the new network is in full swing, it's expected to provide customers with a 50 percent increase in download speeds and up to 100 percent in upload speeds.

"Everything Everywhere's vision is to launch 4G for Britain as soon as possible, and the rollout of 3.5G HSPA+ and our 4G trials across Britain are major steps towards delivering on that promise," Everything Everywhere CEO Olaf Swantee said in a statement today. "I am also very proud to announce that, subject to regulatory approval by the spring, Everything Everywhere will be in a position to begin the rollout of 4G before the end of the year."