LTE technology trial proposed under neutral-host business model

Welsh rural broadband trial reuses spectrum from digital TV switchover

Telco equipment makers Alcatel-Lucent and Arqiva announced a trial of rural “Long Term Evolution” (LTE) mobile network broadband in the Preseli Mountains in Wales.

The LTE trial uses some of the 800Mhz spectrum freed up by the switchover to digital TV and the two firms claimed that it was capable of delivering speeds of over 50Mbit/s.

Arqiva called the trialed system a “neutral-host network solution” which it said would provide access to Internet service providers and new companies providing rural broadband over the network.

The company also said that the trial was designed to demonstrate the economic and technical viability of the system to cover so-called “notspots”, or those covered with speeds lower than the 2Mbit/s minimum proposed by the government.

“LTE technology offers the potential to accelerate the availability of broadband services to individuals and businesses that do not have access to services that many of us take for granted,” said Alcatel-Lucent boss Lakh Jemmett. “It also paves the way for access to a plethora of new applications.”

Arqiva mobile & enterprise boss Steve Holebrook said that the firm believes LTE operating in the 800MHz spectrum with a “neutral-host commercial model” was the best way to deliver broadband to rural communities “quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.”

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