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Extension has been granted by Ofcom

Communications companies Everything Everywhere and BT Wholesale annnounced an extension to the UK’s first live multi-operator customer trial of next generation 4G LTE broadband.

Under the 4G LTE trial, the two companies collaborated to provide wireless broadband to 180 customers living in and around St. Newlyn East in Cornwall since October 2011.

The extension has been granted by the regulator Ofcom to enable the companies to continue to investigate the application of 4G LTE in rural areas, which will be beneficial to the rollout of any potential subsequent commercial service.

The trial has proven that fixed and mobile technologies can work together to provide a broadband delivery option for remote rural areas and also demonstrated that the low frequency spectrum allocated to the trial is optimal for enabling broadband in remote rural communities.

Everything Everywhere CEO Olaf Swantee said the rollout of 4G will help drive economic growth and create jobs across the UK by making the economy more competitive, by enabling businesses to be more productive, and by allowing consumers to benefit from the latest mobile innovations.

“This trial has been key in investigating ways to rapidly bring 4G LTE to Britain, and Ofcom is helping us do the groundwork to accelerate the UK from laggard to leader,” said Swantee.

BT Wholesale CEO Nigel Stagg said the trial is enabling BT to see at first hand the real difference LTE is making in rural Cornwall and how it could provide an alternative mode of delivery in rural areas to complement fibre delivered broadband.

“There’s no doubt that fixed line solutions offer a faster and more reliable broadband service, but there isn’t a single silver bullet to meet the rural broadband challenge. We continue to also assess other potential solutions including other mobile and wireless technologies,” said Stagg.