Saturday, December 11, 2010


Yet another company is looking to break the monopoly of the large UK telecommunication businesses in providing access to superfast broadband.

According to a recent press release, Arqiva has teamed up with Alcatel-Lucent to conduct a high speed (50Mbps+) trial of next generation Mobile Broadband technology in West Wales.

The trial will deploy LTE technology in the Preseli Mountains using 800MHz radio spectrum, which has been freed up as part of a Digital Switchover from the old analogue TV spectrum. It mirrors an almost identical trial on the Caradon Hill area of East Cornwall, which is being conducted by Clear Mobitel.

As Preseli Mountains communities are dispersed and have low population densities which can't be reached economically through existing fixed line ISP networks, the trial aims to demonstrate the economic and technical viability of a neutral-host wireless network (i.e. it will offer wholesale access to ISPs) as a route to extending broadband coverage into 'NotSpot' locations.

Given that WAG is currently exploring how it will spend the £240 million on superfast broadband infrastructure, this is yet another solution that could, and should be considered.