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Virgin Tests 4G Viability

Virgin Media is edging ever closer to rolling out 4G mobile connections after carrying out an evaluation-programme to test the viability of the high-speed mobile scheme. The tests of its fibre network-based next-generation mobile services could be a sign of the company's intentions to bid for the 4G spectrum auction, scheduled for later this year. The technology, if rolled out, would allow for connections six times faster than those available on current 3G services and would meet the ever-increasing demand for video streaming on mobile devices. For the time being, Virgin is planning to roll out a nationwide wireless network by using small transmitters as well as its existing fibre networks to broadcast the company's very own superfast mobile services. Analysts say that the 'small cell' technology being considered by Virgin will play a vital role in mobile communications as it will help to take the strain off the traditional nationwide mobile networks, which are coming under increasing pressure as consumer demand for data on the move continues to skyrocket. "This wireless solution fits so well with our fibre network which covers most major cities. We are interested in working with WiFi as well as licensed spectrum. It provides capacity to where people need it the most," Kevin Baughan, director of wireless at Virgin Media told the Financial Times. The company has also placed its bid for the contracts aimed at facilitating quality Wi-Fi services to local areas.

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