It is possible that Virgin Media may enter the forthcoming UK 4G wireless spectrum auction which is scheduled to take place late in 2012 to be be overseen by Ofcom.
Virgin Media undertook an initial low-key 4G trial in central London at its store in Oxford Street last year. Now they are undertaking a larger scale trial in London with support from Airspan Networks. Airspan Networks specialise in 4G network technology using small-cell LTE solutions which is ideal for use in major metropolitan areas.
Airspan Networks will supply AirSynergy pico eNodeB (LTE Base Stations) which can be easily fixed to both walls, lamp posts and telegraph poles to offer 4G mobile coverage. This latest 4G trial is underway via a Test Licence granted by Ofcom for Virgin Media to assess the technology's capabilities and performance within a major metropolitan area.
Kevin Baughan, Director of Wireless, Virgin Media said "We want to put the power of our fibre optic network wherever people need it most, both inside and outside the home. Our technology trial in Oxford Street, one of London's busiest streets, proved the potential benefits of a small-cell solution and plugging into our network could help offer unrivalled capacity for mobile data services."
"We are pleased to partner with Virgin Media in these small-cell LTE trials," commented Paul Trubridge, Airspan Vice President of Product Management. "AirSynergy is providing Virgin Media with a very compact form factor that delivers extremely high-capacity LTE connectivity. This trial is demonstrating the key role that small cells will play in the success of future mobile broadband deployments."