The satellite network, which will replace the operator's current ISDN system, will speed up transaction times and increase the number of tickets the system can deal with at peak times. The pilot comes a year ahead of the start of the third licence to run the National Lottery.
As well as trialling the communications network, Camelot said that the pilot was designed to test the installation process, the systems in place between its central retail operations centre and selected retailers, engineers' procedures and retailers' overall experience. It added that it would soon update retailers on its plans to install new hardware including state-of-the-art touchscreen terminals and digital screens.
Camelot sales and customer director Steve Lucas said: "The pre-testing represents a massive investment into the future of the National Lottery by Camelot. We have been working on the network in partnership with global satellite technology experts Hughes to develop a new communications infrastructure that will allow us to provide retailers with a faster, more reliable network than the ISDN system.
"It will also mean that in the long-term Camelot can introduce new play styles on its draw-based and Scratchcard lottery games and update the system frequently and efficiently to accommodate any changes in the lottery portfolio over the next 10-year licence."