The talk about 4G LTE data services has been rife recently with a number of manufacturers pushing out new devices with LTE compatibility, effectively allowing consumers to significantly increase their mobile data speeds to somewhere around the 20Mbps region. That is obviously fantastic for consumers who live in regions and territories that have the infrastructure to offer that service, but is a bit of a kick in the teeth for those who don’t. The LTE based news that is coming out of the United Kingdom today will represent good news for some, but will be a bitter pill to swallow for others, including most of the major UK based mobile networks.
The industries regulatory body, Ofcom, has given permission for the parent company of T-Mobile and Orange to expand their existing 1800MHz spectrum to offer 4G services to their customers, something that will reportedly start rolling out during next month. Everything Everywhere has previously ruffled a few feathers with the other networks by requesting permission from Ofcom to move focus away from the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrums to concentrate on providing the services on their already available frequency.
Although Ofcom has granted permission to the company to begin moving on with the process from September 11th, it obviously isn’t as simple as just getting permission and then flipping a switch to turn 4G on for customers. It is being speculated that the T-Mobile and Orange brands will start offering the increased data speeds to their mobile broadband customers before rolling it out to compatible smartphones and tablets. With that said, we wonder if it is merely a coincidence that the agreed date pretty much falls in line with Apple’s announcement of their new iPhone that has been rumored to have LTE functionality. Could we see T-Mobile and Orange offering the only 4G iPhone in the UK?
Competitors of the company, mainly Vodafone and O2, are less than happy with the Ofcom ruling, primarily because they don’t have any available 1800MHz spectrum due to it being allocated to voice calls and text messaging on their network and will need to wait until the auction of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands next year before they can begin their own process of offering 4G capabilities to their customers. It will be interesting to see just how much of an advantage this ruling gives Everything Everywhere over the competition.