UK mobile operator 3 is to conduct tests of next generation mobile services based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in parts of the Thames Valley, The Financial Times reports. The cellco, which is owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, will launch the initial technical trials in March 2012 over a pilot network in Maidenhead and Slough. The tests will last one month and involve selected individuals, it said, and will be followed by a wider consumer-based trial later next year.
3 is the latest of the UK incumbents to reveal its hand when it comes to 4G. Rival Everything Everywhere is holding trials of 4G in Cornwall, while O2 will use existing spectrum in London to roll out similar services next year. Meanwhile, Vodafone UK has already completed three trials of LTE technology in recent years.