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O2 is to launch the UK's the first large-scale public trial of 4G mobile broadband, it has been reported.

The broadband provider – Britain's second biggest mobile operator – is to construct 25 masts covering 15 square miles of London.

O2 is to conduct the nine-month pilot across several areas of the capital, including Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster, South Bank and Kings Cross.

And the equipment installed will ultimately become part of O2's first commercial 4G network, the Guardian reported.

The 25 London masts will be able to carry more data than O2's entire national 3G network – and this means faster broadband speeds for dongle and tablet users.

4G mobile broadband has the potential to deliver far greater download speeds than 3G, which means end users will gain access to a full range of advanced IT services.

During the trial, Samsung dongles will be handed out for participants to plug into tablets and laptop computers.

"There's no doubt that the mobile networks will have the capacity to support everything being connected," said Ronan Dunne, UK Chief Executive of O2.

"We will start the dialogue with business about what are the new use cases, putting onto mobile what we used to do on fixed line in the past."

Broadband providers should be able to take advantage of 4G mobile networks from 2013, after Ofcom runs its much-delayed spectrum auction.

The media regulator is making available spare radio spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands to UK mobile operators.

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