Ofcom, the UK’s governing body for all things communication (think of it as our FCC), has ruled favorably on Everything Everywhere’s proposal to launch fourth generation network services as early as September 11th. At one point it looked as though we Brits would be forced to wait until at least 2013/14 before we saw any movement. Thankfully, OfCom decided that T-mobile and Orange’s combined efforts would be good for the economy and the consumer. T-mobile’s merger with Orange a couple of years back was a strategic move – becoming Everything Everywhere - which would give the two a much better bargaining power when it came to ensuring it got a fair slice of the 4G spectrum.
The ruling will enable the two carriers to rebrand their 1800MHz spectrum and use it to deliver 4G services. An Everything Everywhere spokesperson reacted to the positive result with the following statement:
“Ofcom’s decision to make 4G available this year is great news for the UK. Consumers will soon be able to benefit from the much greater mobile speeds that 4G will deliver. 4G will drive investment, employment and innovation and we look forward to making it available later this year, delivering superfast mobile broadband to the UK.”
What that means is that at least some locations – most likely in the south of England – will have 4G markets up and running in the next couple of months, just in time for the 4G/LTE equipped iPhone. One thing that remains uncertain is whether or not the new iPhone will support T-mobile/Orange’s bandwidths. Since the new iPad only uses the 700MHz bandwidths for LTE, there is a chance that the 6th generation smartphone won’t support the UK’s networks. If not, there’s always hope for the iPhone 6/7/2013, right?