Virgin Media gets first 4G mobile customers
Virgin Media Business has landed its first customer for next generation mobile backhaul, MBNL, the 50:50 joint venture between Everything Everywhere and Hutchinson 3G UK.
The firms today announced a £100m eight year deal to build 14 “aggregation sites” over the next 18 months to provide 1Gbps synchronous backhaul to the MNO. Virgin Media declined to say where the sites will be, but provided a links to a map of its core network.
The deal will speed up data rates to smartphones around the country, reducing network congestion as each cell site will be connected to the aggregation centre with optical fibre, Virgin Media Business said in a statement.
The auction for 4G frequencies, the 800MHz and 2.6GHz, is expected to start in 2Q2012 following a short delay in the auction design by Ofcom, the communications regulator, which is conducting the auction.
4G will allow smartphone users with the right handset to receive up to 100Mbps data rates.