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Operators race to start UK 4G services
14 March 2012
Everything Everywhere andPCCW’s UK Broadband to introduce UK’s first LTE services in 2012
Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom’s UK joint venture Everything Everywhere is expected to announce plans for a 2012 roll-out of 4G services, provided it obtains the regulatory approval required to use existing spectrum.
Olaf Swantee, chief executive of Everything Everywhere, told the Financial Times the company intends to roll out 4G services following UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom’s approval of liberalisation of the 1,800 megahertz spectrum. The operator will offer LTE services on dongles at first, and on other devices in 2013. Everything Everywhere has tested 4G services over 800 megahertz in Cornwall, and from April it will conduct 4G trials over 1,800 megahertz in Bristol.
UK Broadband — subsidiary of Richard Li-controlled Hong Kong group PCCW — is also planning to introduce 4G services using Huawei technology on 3.5 and 3.6 gigahertz spectrum, though this is above the normal range used for LTE at the moment.
Everything Everywhere will bid for lower frequencies in the UK auction expected at the end of 2012.
Swantee told the FT: “We have a duty as the biggest network to make this happen for the UK, as soon as possible. Britain has fallen behind parts of Europe and the US. We want this to help Britain retain its rightful space as leader in mobile communications.” GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
Everything Everywhere plans LTE in UK 23 Feb 2012
PCCW to launch telecoms share sale 09 Nov 2011
Huawei wins LTE deal for Hong Kong JV 18 Aug 2011
Orange 'keen on network-sharing deals' 09 Jun 2011
Orange and T-Mobile hold onto UK spectrum 23 Nov 2009