Ofcom Approves Everything Everywhere for 4G

News Article - Tuesday, 21 August 2012 11:15

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

Ofcom has approved mobile operator Everything Everywhere, owned by Orange and T-Mobile, to use the existing 1800MHz spectrum to allow them to offer 4G services.

The telecoms regulator carried out a consultation to determine whether "varying EE’s 1800 MHz licences now will deliver significant benefits to consumers”. They believe that delaying the use of the spectrum will prove to be detrimental to consumers.

An auction of the additional 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrums will be held later this year and it was previously thought that consumers would not see any benefits of the 4G spectrum until late next year. However, the licensing of the 1800MHz spectrum for Everything Everywhere means that we may see 4G services a lot quicker than previously thought.

The new licenses will authorise Everything Everywhere to launch LTE services from September 11 2012; however, it will be up to the mobile network when they launch the service following this date.

The 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrums were originally released to mobile networks in the 1990s, when they were allowed to be used for 2G services only, which included text and calls.

Ofcom then ruled that the spectrum could also be used for 3G in 2011; this latest ruling allows Everything Everywhere to also use the spectrum for 4G "to meet the growing demand from internet-connected devices such as smartphones and laptops”.

Should they now receive requests from other networks, they will look at licensing according to market demand.

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