O2 has switched on the first 4G mobile broadband network in London, offering superfast wireless internet access across the capital. This unique trial will run until June 2012, and will see O2 equip consumers, businesses and venue owners with cutting-edge 4G technology.
4G (or LTE – Long Term Evolution) is the fourth generation of cellular wireless technology and now provides the fastest possible wireless connections in parts of London. Delivering mobile internet access at speeds comparable to the fastest landline fibre home broadband connection, O2’s 4G network is so fast you can download a 500MB file in just 60 seconds. Just imagine how it could transform downloading and streaming music and films.
Over 25 sites across the capital have been built, with the network stretching over a vast 40 square kilometres. From Hyde Park in London’s West End, across to The O2 in Greenwich, O2’s 4G network has been carefully planned to provide coverage to key London locations including Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster and the South Bank.
To ensure the best possible trial of its 4G network, O2 will be equipping businesses with Samsung B3730 mobile broadband dongles, as well as 4G wireless hotspots and handsets. With John Lewis and The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) taking part, among many others, businesses across the capital can enjoy the fastest wireless internet connections with O2.
And it’s not just the city’s businesses that can benefit from O2’s 4G trial. With dedicated 4G sites providing coverage to The O2 Arena, and live music video and film streaming demonstrations taking place at the O2 Lounge and O2 Store, visitors and customers of The O2 can also take a look at what 4G promises to deliver in the coming months and years.
And O2 is even enlisting the help of the city’s technology fans, joining forces with Gizmodo UK to recruit a selection of Gizmodo readers to take part in a three-month trial of the 4G network. The group of lucky trialists will be chosen at a private Gizmodo UK 4G launch party at The O2 and will then be able to feed back content and opinions to the site via a reader’s panel.
Throughout the trial, which will last until next summer, O2 will be collecting real-time network performance data, as well as direct feedback from its customers. All the results will then be used to shape O2’s future plans for how it will direct and offer its forthcoming commercial 4G network, after the Ofcom 4G spectrum auction takes place next year.
Providing an exciting first-hand look into the high-speed wireless network technology we’ll all be using in the years to come, O2’s 4G network trial is a glimpse into the future.
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What are you looking forward to using 4G for? Is it downloading films, music, or something different? Let us know how 4G will transform your online browsing.