O2 Touts 150Mbps London 4G Trial Success

O2 has labelled its trial of 4G technology in London a success after the operator boasted of achieving download speeds of 150Mbps.

The operator said that since December last year, 1,000 people have been involved in the largest urban 4G network trial in central London.

That trial included 25 sites and covered an area of 40sq km, stretching from Hyde Park to Canary Wharf and The O2, including Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster, South Bank and Kings Cross.

Superfast mobile broadband

Apparently the trial users regularly experienced speeds of between 20Mbps and 50Mbps – over 20 times faster than 3G.

Speeds like this would allow a 40MB file to be downloaded in seconds whilst on the move, and for game players a ‘click to bang rate’ on 4G of 0.07 seconds.

“The trial offers a unique glimpse into the future of superfast mobile broadband and is giving hundreds of consumers, businesses and venue owners exclusive access to 4G before it becomes a reality for the rest of the UK following the spectrum auction in 2013,” said the operator.

O2 said the trial had given it valuable insight into the infrastructure demands of a live 4G network, and has helped it ensure it will be ready to hit the ground running when the green light is finally given for 4G services following the upcoming spectrum auction. It also said the trial ‘affirmed the pent-up demand for high speed services.’

“The forthcoming spectrum auction is a watershed moment for the UK mobile industry, releasing the airwaves that will power a whole range of exciting next generation mobile services,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 owner Telefónica UK.

“The new spectrum will increase capacity, quality and speed (we estimate that mobile broadband capacity will increase by 20 to 40 times from today’s levels), and will allow us to deliver true connectivity through a suite of innovative digital services, that work seamlessly and at speed for the benefit of consumers, business and UK plc.”

Many trials

O2 has been trialling 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology for many years now. In March 2011, it boasted that its small LTE trial in Slough (its UK headquarters) was capable of handling the same volume of mobile traffic as its entire 3G network in the United Kingdom.

But that trial had actually been ongoing since December 2009 when the operator first revealed it was testing LTE in Slough in partnership with Huawei.

It claimed at that time it had measured a cell peak downlink rate of 150Mbps during the trial. In comparison, 3G networks today are capable of supplying about 10 to 15Mbps to a mobile device.

4G controversy

O2 and other mobile operators have been fuming over Ofcom’s decision in March to allow Everything Everywhere to deploy a 4G LTE network this year using existing spectrum.

Vodafone led the opposition accusing the regulator of losing its mind. 3UK’s CEO Dave Dyson refused to rule out legal action over the issue. O2 eventually said it was “concerned” at the move.

Ofcom eventually said it would not give final approval until 8 May for Everything Everywhere to use existing spectrum for a 4G network.

Despite all this controversy UK Broadband was actually the first to switch on a fully functional 4G LTE network in February.

Its LTE network in the London Borough of Southwark, incorporating South Bank, is the first commercial 4G deployment in the UK.

How much do you know about the iPhone’s rivals? Try our quiz!

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Gloucester City Council Confirms ‘Cyber Incident’

Council IT services hit by so called 'sleeper' malware, with media reports pointing the finger…

17 hours ago

Gigabyte Broadband Pledge At Risk, Warns Spending Watchdog

UK pledge to close the digital divide of broadband services for urban and rural customers…

19 hours ago

UK To Address Marketing Of High Risk Crypto Investments

British financial watchdog says it will curb the marketing of cryptoassets and other high-risk investments,…

21 hours ago

Tesla Driver Charged With Manslaughter After Autopilot Crash

Criminal charges for the first time in fatal crash involving Tesla's Autopilot, as driver is…

23 hours ago