EE urges 4G progress in UK

Mobile phone network Everything Everywhere (a merger between T-Mobile and Orange) has taken fresh steps to encourage 4G data services in the UK.

Mobile network Everything Everywhere (EE) has taken fresh steps to lobby for 4G data services in the UK.

EE, the new company formed by the merger between T-Mobile & Orange, is urging business leaders and consumer champions to join 4GBritain – a campaign calling on the government “to do whatever is necessary to move forward” with the delivery of 4G to the UK.

Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive of EE recently revealed that he was surprised by how far behind the UK was:

“The UK had struck me as a place where mobile technology is deployed first and yet the infrastructure is behind Germany, Scandinavia, the US and 31 other countries. I want to do something about this issue.”

Angola is said to be further ahead than Britain in terms of infrastructure; a country that emerged from civil war only 10 years ago.

The campaign has been delayed by mobile operators arguing over how the service should be distributed.

Despite insisting that potential members will be “treated equally” in terms of access to 4G distribution many are sceptical about EE’s intentions. Telecoms operator Ofcom is currently considering a proposal from EE to re-use its 1800MHz spectrum to deploy 4G before a proposed auction takes place between the UK’s main operators.

With O2 and Vodafone disputing such plans, analysts predict that Ofcom may be taken to court before the auction goes ahead.

Matthew Howett, analyst at Ovum, suggests that Ofcom is up for the fight:

“It is prepared for litigation and fully expects it but if it doesn’t win the whole process goes back to the drawing board and could take years to fix.”

 

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