Virgin Media Jumps on the 4G Urban-Trial Bandwagon

By Sam Gibbs on at

Having set up what can only be described as the most puny 4G trial ever last month, it’s back with a load of fibre-connected small cells trialling the sweet blazing speeds of LTE in urban areas.

The little cells will operate on the 2.6GHz band to find out how well they’ll cover an area and if it’s feasible for Virgin to really do it. Apparently the cells are made for deployment on lampposts and for bolting onto walls – not the kind of large cell towers you get stuck on top of tall buildings. The idea is that Virgin has a lot of the infrastructure needed already lying under our streets, so it’s just a case of hooking these small 4G broadcasters into the original under-floor cables.

Virgin’s not let on whether it’ll actually bid for spectrum in the 4G auction or not, but it stands to reason it might. It already operates an MVNO on top of Everything Everywhere, and also provides quite a lot of the backhaul to various other networks already.

It’d be great to see Virgin get in on the UK 4G action, but it’s also possible that it wouldn’t offer any customer facing services at all; just renting these cells to other networks. Still, the more the merrier – we want to push 4G as hard as possible so Britain can catch up with the rest of the world, and if Virgin thinks it can do LTE justice like it does 100Mbit broadband, I say let it. [The Register]

Image credit: Fast from Shutterstock