Ofcom approves Everything Everywhere 4G from September

Ofcom approves Everything Everywhere 4G from SeptemberBack in February, we heard that Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) hoped to start rolling out 4G services by the end of the year, however Ofcom’s decision was ultimately delayed amid network bickering.

We fully understood the “monopoly” concerns, but Ofcom reckons the sooner Everything Everywhere can start rolling out 4G, the better. How does next month sound?

Ofcom will allow Everything Everywhere to use its existing 1800MHz spectrum to roll out 4G mobile from the slightly ominous date of September 11.

Realistically, however, it’ll probably be next year before 4G hits the UK smartphone arena.

As you’d expect, the other big UK networks – O2, Vodafone and Three – aren’t happy.

"We are hugely disappointed with today's announcement, which will mean the majority of customers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services," said an O2 spokesperson.

Meanwhile, a "shocked" Vodafone wept: “[Ofcom] 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."

Finally, Three warned: "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."

Conversely, grinning maniacally, an Everything Everywhere spokesperson beamed: “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."

Better still: “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.”

O2, Vodafone and Three will have to wait for Ofcom’s 4G auction in 2013. Poor chaps.

Read more about: OrangeT-mobile3 MobileO2Vodafone

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12 comments

AhmadCentral  Aug. 21, 2012 at 11:03

So realistically. When will 4g go live, from September?

Treab  Aug. 21, 2012 at 11:30

So realistically. When will 4g go live, from September?

2013 as ee will be using a 4g signal that no phones will be designed to utilise...

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 21, 2012 at 11:31

So they're allowed to start 4G development from September and it'll take them until '13 to get it up and running? Also, any news on where it'll be launched? Finally, any news on what kind of 4G it is, proper LTE, Wi-Max, HSPA+42...?

AhmadCentral  Aug. 21, 2012 at 12:12

It'll be Lte

Dc-hspa+ is rolling out currently / next month

Pondlife  Aug. 21, 2012 at 12:41

Baffling decision, ee going to quietly work harder on delaying auction and will surely mean the auction will raise less money.

CTPAHHIK  Aug. 21, 2012 at 16:46

Does it really matter how much money auction will raise? In the end consumers end up paying for it.
O2 and Vodafone need to get rid of their 2G networks altogether.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 21, 2012 at 16:55

O2 and Vodafone need to get rid of their 2G networks altogether.
Why? Many people rely on the 2G networks as their only mobile connection. The UK's 3G networks are ridiculously patchy and totally unreliable, especially if you live in a rural area. Where I live (a less than half an hour drive from Nottingham, not exactly the middle of nowhere), if O2 and Vodafone ditched their 2G networks, they wouldn't have a signal here at all. I'm sure all the people here on O2 and Vodafone wouldn't agree with your views.

CTPAHHIK  Aug. 21, 2012 at 17:09

Matt, you strike like a rational individual, yet you come up with ridiculous argument.
Only reason you rely on 2G network is because there is no 3G coverage. 2G coverage will not disappear into the void (nobody is going to give up spectrum) - it will be replaced. Even replacement with 3G is a huge advantage - don't think you will mind and would rather stick with good 3G coverage vs. patchy 4G.

Pondlife  Aug. 21, 2012 at 17:41

I think even now there are a lot of people without 3g phones though so Matt has a point as updating all the networks to 3g wouldn't help them.
It is a change that would dramatically improve 3g coverage but wouldn't be an easy one to make.

matt101101 / MOD  Aug. 21, 2012 at 18:11

Only reason you rely on 2G network is because there is no 3G coverage.
Not true, many people have absolutely no interest in smartphones and mobile data. They just want to make phone calls and send the odd text, which 2G does brilliantly.


2G coverage will not disappear into the void (nobody is going to give up spectrum) - it will be replaced.
That's not what you originally said. You simply stated O2 and Vodafone should get rid of their 2G networks, you can't bash my response based on what you meant to say. My future reading skills are particularly poor on Tuesdays ;).


Even replacement with 3G is a huge advantage - don't think you will mind and would rather stick with good 3G coverage vs. patchy 4G.
Again, you never mentioned replacement in your original statement, how was I meant to know you weren't just feeling crazy and suggesting we try to "do a Three" and just run on the existing 3G network (a particularly difficult task for O2, with their crappy coverage)?

CTPAHHIK  Aug. 22, 2012 at 08:02

I think even now there are a lot of people without 3g phones though so Matt has a point as updating all the networks to 3g wouldn't help them.
It is a change that would dramatically improve 3g coverage but wouldn't be an easy one to make.


At first there were analog phones, followed by TDMA technology, then slight improvement - GSM. There was a time when most people had analog phones, but we are past that now. Vodafone needs to stop selling 2G SIM cards and 2G phones - that would be a start.

CTPAHHIK  Aug. 22, 2012 at 08:19


Only reason you rely on 2G network is because there is no 3G coverage.
Not true, many people have absolutely no interest in smartphones and mobile data. They just want to make phone calls and send the odd text, which 2G does brilliantly.


Analog was upgraded to TDMA, now it's time for GSM to WCDMA.

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