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4G mobile broadband launches in the UK
IT News |
UK businesses and households are set to gain access to faster mobile broadband speeds after the first 4G network was activated.
Everything Everywhere, which is rebranding to EE, is now offering super-fast mobile broadband in four English cities: London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol.
Another 16 are set to follow by the end of 2012: Edinburgh, Belfast, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Southampton, Hull, Nottingham and Derby.
The launch of 4G comes after Ofcom approved EE's plan to offer fourth-generation services using the 1,800MHz frequency band.
The media regulator's decision has infuriated a number of the firm's rivals, including Vodafone and O2, who will be forced to with until it auctions off spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands.
As such, EE has managed to steal a march on its rivals in the super-fast mobile broadband market.
"London will be the first major European city to be covered by 4G," said EE Chief Executive Olaf Swantee.
"We plan to have 4G services available to 20 million in the UK. The EE network will cover 70 per cent by 2013 [and] 90 per cent of [the] UK by 2014."
EE has also announced plans for a fixed-line fibre broadband service, and the launch of a 4G Wi-Fi dongle which will provide super-fast connectivity on the move.
The firm's UK subsidiaries, Orange and T-Mobile will continue to run their own networks.
Matthew Howett, practice leader in Ovum's regulatory telecoms team, said the launch of 4G would help bring the UK out of the "slow lane".
He explained that countries such as Angola, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have already launched 4G mobile services, meaning Britain is playing catch-up.
"However, that is all set to change as Everything Everywhere’s new brand for 4G mobile services - EE – has announced plans for its rollout," Mr Howett stated.
"The decision to cover London in its entirety from day one makes it one of the most ambitious rollouts we have seen, and EE is clearly not wasting any time making up lost ground."
Posted by John Lynes
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