Ofcom has announced it has brought forward the delivery of 4G mobile services across the UK.
The 4G auction process is on track to begin at the end of the year to enable the launch of 4G services during the first half of 2013, five months earlier than planned. The move is a result of
Ofcom been able to secure the earlier release of frequencies that were previously used for digital-terrestrial broadcasting due to significant progress with the digital switchover and with the clearance programme, which has been running ahead of schedule.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: "The actions we have taken with industry and government avoids the risk of significant delay and is tremendous news for consumers who might otherwise have waited a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services.
"Ofcom's objective has always been to release the spectrum as early as possible and we remain focused on starting the auction by the end of the year.
The clearance date for TV transmitters in Oxford and Waltham—which would otherwise prevent deployment of 4G mobile services to around 9 million people in cities including London, Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield—will be brought forward by five months to May 2013.
Similarly, the clearance date for transmitters which impact around 1 million people in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh will be brought forward by more than three months to April 2013.
In August Ofcom gave approval to an application by Everything Everywhere (now EE) to use some of its existing spectrum to offer a 4G service. Today, EE confirmed the launch of their 4G mobile and broadband service will take place on the 30 October 2012. The service will initially launch in ten cities and will cover 16 cities—a third of the UK population—by the end of the year.
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