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Three is planning to conduct super-fast mobile broadband trials in the Thames Valley area, it has been reported.

According to the Financial Times, the broadband provider will pilot 4G long-term evolution technology in Maidenhead and Slough.

The trial - the first technical testing in the 2.6GHz spectrum band - will take place during March 2012.

A number of pre-selected groups will be invited to participate in the 4G broadband tests, the news provider stated.

Should the pilot scheme be successful, Three is expected to conduct consumer trials later in 2012.

David Dyson, Chief Executive at the broadband provider, commented: "Our ability to provide all you can eat data packages depends on a combination of smart network management, improved technology and the spectrum that is the lifeblood of mobile."

Earlier this month, Three reiterated its commitment to increasing access to high-speed mobile broadband services around the UK.

Around 80 per cent of the provider's 3G network will be upgrade to HSPA+ by the end the year, with the rest following in 2012.

And 4G mobile broadband services could follow in 2013 or 2014, subject to the outcome of the Ofcom spectrum auction, which is set to be carried out in the second half of next year.

Three, which has little spare 3G capacity, is eager to secure spectrum in the 800MHz or 2.6GHz band, both to increase dongle download speeds and to extend its UK network.

A number of other broadband providers, including Orange and T-Mobile are also expected to bid for additional spectrum.

But the timescale for the introduction of long-term evolution mobile services in the UK remains uncertain, with Ofcom facing opposition from some service providers to its planned 4G auction.

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