The English borough of Swindon is to become the first area in the UK to be covered by a live commercial LTE network courtesy of the 4G network wholesaler UK Broadband. The service will be aimed predominantly at public sector and businesses via a fixed-wireless services, but local residents will be able to take advantage of the network through retail partnerships via Mifi type devices, which it said would be available from September.
UK Broadband, the UK arm of Hong-Kong based PCCW, is making use of 40MHz of paired spectrum in the 3.4GHz band to create the network. It said the core transmission network will be by deployed in conjunction with outsourcing company Capita, via point-to-point and point-to-multipoint microwave links with 4G LTE layered over the top, creating the first city-wide 4G coverage in the UK.
Taking the lead in UK LTE will give Swindon another stab at fame, with the city first made famous as the location of the rival branch of The Office, as run by the fictional David Brent in the BBC TV series. UK Broadband CEO Nicholas James said in a statement that the move would enable Swindon’s real-life public sector workers to operate more flexibly and efficiently.
“The increased speed and reliability provided by the use of smart devices and superfast next generation mobile broadband will enable public sector workers to be more effectively and easily connected to their core office systems and data, whilst working in different localities. It will allow us to begin adopting working practices that will significantly improve the efficiency with which key services are delivered.”