O2, Vodafone and EE have reached an agreement with UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom and the British government to significantly accelerate the roll-out of LTE services on 800MHz and 2600MHz bands across all of their networks. Previously EE, which had re-farmed some of its 1800MHz spectrum for use with LTE, was expected to be the only operator to run 4G services before late 2013. However the new agreement could see Three, Vodafone and O2's 4G services being deployed by spring instead.
The agreement means the perpetually-delayed auction of 800MHz and 2600MHz bands will take place earlier than expected, and the spectrum will be cleared for use more quickly, to allow services to be more rapidly deployed. According to BBC News, Vodafone and O2 have also agreed not to use legal action to block EE's 4G roll-out, and as such, EE should make an announcement on when it'll launch its 4G services "imminently." Previously the carrier had stuck to a rather vague statement indicating the launch was still a few weeks away.
Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said: "The actions we have taken with industry and government avoid the risk of significant delay and are tremendous news for consumers who might otherwise have waited a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services."
So it seems it's good news whichever network you're on. EE gets to go ahead with its early 4G roll-out, and other carriers won't be as far behind as previously thought. And with the threat of imminent competition, EE might think twice before passing too much of the cost of its early launch onto customers.
Source: BBC News
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