Wireless technology is being piloted in the Preseli Mountains, West Wales, which could overcome the issue of dead spots in broadband coverage in rural areas.
Communications infrastructure and media services company Arqiva, and Alcatel-Lucent, are running a Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology trial in the region to demonstrate the economic and technical viability of a neutral-host wireless network. This technology could potentially offer extended broadband Internet services to areas with no broadband coverage ('notspots') and those with speeds lower than 2Mbps throughout the UK, estimated at 10% of UK households.
According to Arquiva and Alcatel-Lucent, this is the first live LTE trial in the UK to use the 800MHz spectrum freed up by digital TV switchover and can deliver speeds of over 50Mbit/s.
The Preseli Mountains area has already switched to digital TV and combines low population density with dispersed communities, making it typical of areas that can't be reached economically with the existing fixed networks, Arquiva said.