O2 bringing 4G trials to London


O2 kicked off a 4G trial today in London, building on the operator's "superfast" 3G network covering the capital.

Trials of LTE services will run for nine months across 25 sites, covering an area of 40 square kilometers.

Over 1,000 people are expected to take part in the project, with a number of business partners announced.

These include John Lewis, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, as well as Enterprise Nation, an organisation designed to support start-up companies in the UK.

"Our work in London will give us a better understanding of the capabilities of 4G technology and will allow us to explore the superfast benefits it will bring to people and industry across the UK," said Ronan Dunne, O2 CEO.

We are actively engaged in the auction and are supportive of a fair process that meets the Government's and Ofcom's planned timeline.

"This 4G trial is the next step on our journey to a smarter network - a network that offers a seamless, connected experience across multiple devices, locations and services."

O2 is one of the companies involved in industry squabbling over the 4G auction, which is due to take place towards the end of 2012 after a number of delays.

Earlier this year, the operator claimed Ofcom's spectrum auction proposals were illegal under EU law as they provided "state aid."

O2 said the "spectrum floors," designed to ensure at least four providers get a minimum amount of spectrum, would favour others.

"The forthcoming spectrum auction is a watershed moment for the UK mobile industry, which will see the release of the airwaves capable of powering a whole range of exciting next-generation mobile services," Dunne said today.

"We are actively engaged in the auction and are supportive of a fair process that meets the Government's and Ofcom's planned timeline."

Last week, a report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee gave Ofcom its backing in how the regulator has handled the auction, including in its decision to include caps and floors in its plans.

MPs urged all involved to ensure the auction takes place as soon as possible following a number of delays.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.