4G mobile broadband to get early roll out in the UK
It’s the news tech heads have been waiting for – super-fast 4G mobile broadband is to be rolled out across the UK earlier than anyone anticipated.
The surprise news comes after Ofcom, the UK telecoms watchdog, agreed that T-Mobile and Orange’s parent company Everything Everywhere could start developing a 4G service using its existing licensed bandwidth. The agreement comes into effect on September 11.
It’s certainly great news for gadget lovers, who had been led to believe that the already tardy introduction of 4G broadband wouldn’t happen until late 2013. Download speeds for videos, games and even your Facebook page on mobile devices will be dramatically increased, bringing mobile internet here in line with countries like Germany and the USA where 4G is already the norm.
The move isn’t without some controversy, however. The introduction of 4G requires another big chunk of the available radio frequency spectrum to be gobbled up for the purposes of transmitting mobile data – the equivalent of 75 per cent of all the mobile frequencies currently in use, in fact.
The new bandwidths being brought into play will be auctioned off between rival operators some time next year. The reason Everything Everywhere has been able to jump the gun, as it were, is because some of its existing spectrum can be converted to 4G. To delay using this for the purposes of faster mobile broadband would, claim Ofcom, be to the ‘detriment of the consumer’, and I think we all agree.
Apart, that is, from rival operators Vodafone and O2, who claim they are being unfairly disadvantaged as their rival sets off on its merry way plundering the 4G market. If they have their way – and it has been largely threats of litigation that has held up the introduction of 4G so far – we will all still be awaiting the roll-out this time next year, all in the name of corporate fair play.
Do you think that it’s right that Vodafone and O2 claim a disadvantage? Or do you just want that awesome new 4G right now?! Let us know in the comments.