Everything Everywhere gets 4G approval from Ofcom

Everything Everywhere, the company that owns both the T-Mobile and Orange brands in the UK, has now been given the go-ahead to roll out 4G services to the UK. The company has been granted final approval to roll out LTE on the 1800MHz spectrum beginning September 11.

Everything Everywhere is allowed to open the networks on September 11 although it will likely launch to customers towards the end of 2012. The company will begin with a few cities and then roll out in time across the whole of the UK.

The approval comes before the official 4G auction which is scheduled for next year. This has of course upset the other networks with Vodafone commenting:

“We are frankly shocked that Ofcom has reached this decision. The regulator has shown a careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, businesses and the wider economy through its refusal to properly regard the competitive distortion created by allowing one operator to run services before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market.”

O2 and Three also had concerns:

O2: “We are hugely disappointed with today‚Äôs announcement, which will mean the majority of customers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services. This decision undermines the competitive environment for 4G in the UK.”

Three: “Liberalisation of 2G spectrum to date has distorted the competitive landscape in the UK, which ultimately harms consumers. Further liberalisation without addressing competition issues could make that distortion worse.”

For those customers on the Orange or T-Mobile networks, this is only good news for now as at the end of this year various 4G dongles as well as smartphones will begin launching. Perhaps the first of these will be the iPhone 5 which has a release date of September 21 (rumoured) although you might need to wait several months in to your contract before you can start accessing data on a faster network.

4G also offers far quicker download speeds with reports from tests showing 5 to 10 times quicker download speeds than the current 3G networks. Video, large downloads and high quality phone calls will benefit from this.

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