O2 is bringing 4G connections to London, as part of a nine-month trial that will see a lucky thousand or so individuals equipped with speedy mobile Internet.
The test starts today, ahead of the Ofcom 4G spectrum auction in 2012 in which networks will buy up slices of the higher-speed spectrum. O2 will be pumping out 4G over the 2.6GHz spectrum band, under a 'test and development license' granted to the network by Ofcom.
That should allow for connection speeds of up to 150Mbps. The trial will involve 25 4G sites across our smog-filled capital, covering 40 square kilometres from Hyde Park to the O2 arena over in Greenwich. O2 has already trialled 4G connections in Slough.
Those lucky enough to take part will be issued with Samsung B3730 dongles -- which support speeds of up to 100Mbps -- and various other mobiles. Data including network performance and anecdotal feedback will be collected, and used to influence O2's plans when it comes to making widespread 4G a reality.
Blighty is mournfully backwards when it comes to data networks. Here in the UK we're stuck with boring old 3G, looking on with hatred as our data-hungry pals in the US and other countries enjoy the benefits of speedy LTE networks.
As if that's not bad enough, we probably won't get proper 4G connections across the UK until 2013, thanks to hissy fits from networks including Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile and O2 over spectrum allocation. Sort it out, guys.