New LTE trials announced in the UK and Russia

Trials of LTE are becoming more widespread as details are released of new tests in Western England and the Tatarstan region of Russia.

The UK trials, being conducted by Clear Mobitel, are scheduled to commence shortly in Cornwall with the specific objective of assessing the performance of LTE to provide a viable broadband service to rural areas.

US-based Clear Mobitel--about which little seems known--said that it had been working for 12 months to obtain a licence to operate in Cornwall in the 800MHz band. The company said this trial was not related to the activity to connect Cornwall's broadband "not-spots" that was being funded by an EU grant.

Harpal Mann, Clear Mobitel's CEO and founder, said: "This is a trial which has global ramifications for rural economies that have been shattered by the effects of the global recession."

Earlier this year the company talked of becoming a mobile broadband provider in Guernsey if the Channel Islands launched an LTE network, but no more has been heard of this idea.

In Russia, Megafon said it would start trials of LTE later this year in Tatarstan when it is provided with the appropriate spectrum. The company said that the region had everything needed to create a LTE test zone, including the technical ability and willingness to invest in technology development.

Earlier this month, the Russian WiMAX operator Yota said it would start LTE services in August with 40 base stations in the same region as Megafon. It plans to increase this to over 200 cell sites by the year end.

For more on this story:
- read The Telegraph & Going LTE

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