Ofcom have today approved Everything Everywhere to deliver 4G from September this year. Which means T-Mobile and Orange will be able to offer super fast mobile broadband very soon.
Obviously you will need a compatible handset, but this is great news for the consumer. What it means for prices of mobile broadband though, we are yet to see.
Not everyone is happy though. Ofcom were meant to be auctioning of the 800 MHz and 2.6GHz bands in early 2013. Everything Everywhere have been allowed to use their existing 1800 MHz band. The other networks needless to say are not happy. Vodafone have released the following statement:
We are frankly shocked that Ofcom has reached this decision. The regulator has shown a careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, businesses and the wider economy through its refusal to properly regard the competitive distortion created by allowing one operator to run services before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market.
Everything Everywhere will no doubt feature a catchphrase along the lines of “First to offer 4G speeds” or “First to offer LTE”.
The auction for the remaining bandwidth will still carry on next year.
Via – The Verge
Here is the Ofcom press release regarding this issue.
Ofcom has today approved an application by the mobile phone operator Everything Everywhere (EE) to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver 4G services.
Following a consultation, Ofcom has concluded that varying EE’s 1800 MHz licences now will deliver significant benefits to consumers, and that there is no material risk that those benefits will be outweighed by a distortion of competition. Delaying doing so would therefore be to the detriment of consumers.
The decision takes account of the forthcoming release of additional spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands, in an auction process set to begin later this year, which will enable other operators to launch competing 4G services from next year.
In parallel with this decision, Ofcom has now issued varied licences to EE which authorise LTE services from 11 September 2012. This means that EE can launch LTE services using its 1800 MHz spectrum at any point from that date, although the precise timing of any launch is a commercial decision for Everything Everywhere.