The former O2 subsidiary and the largest mobile network operator on the Isle of Man, Manx Telecom has revealed plans to trial Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. According to manx.net, the cellco will be the first to test the 4G technology on the island, having partnered with French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent for the trials. It is understood that Alca-Lu will help roll out pilot infrastructure covering two areas. The first coverage zone will be in the centre of capital city Douglas, extending along Strand Street (including Manx Telecom’s flagship store) and along the Promenade. The second meanwhile will be at the Isle of Man Business Park, covering Manx Telecom’s HQ. As part of the trials Manx Telecom and Alca-Lu have said that, with relatively few commercial LTE devices available, they will utilise bespoke 4G devices to create Wi-Fi hotspots.
Commenting on the development, Mike Dee, CEO of Manx Telecom, noted: ‘4G (LTE) has tremendous potential and we are looking forward to hosting a practical demonstration of its capabilities. Of course, to make 4G (LTE) technology available to consumers would require one of the biggest investments in Manx Telecom’s history in order to upgrade our entire mobile infrastructure. But, as always, Manx Telecom is looking ahead and examining every opportunity to develop our world class mobile network even further. Innovation is in our DNA and we hope to bring our customers 4G services in 2013 although this is very much dependent on the availability of smartphones and handsets.’