Ofcom backs Everything Everywhere 2012 4G plans

Ofcom backs Everything Everywhere 2012 4G plansWe recently heard that Everything Everywhere – Orange and T-Mobile’s married name – was aiming to provide its customers with 4G goodness this very year, 2012AD.

Now Ofcom has published a meaty proposal, in which it describes how awesome life will be with 4G mobile data in the UK, and suggesting that any competitive advantage gained by Everything Everywhere would be outweighed by the benefits.

In order to provide 4G, Everything Everywhere would allocate some of its 1,800MHz 3G spectrum, and Ofcom is totally up for it. Behold:

"LTE/WiMAX services are not currently widely available to citizens and consumers in the UK.

"There is however widespread demand for mobile data services in the UK, and that demand is growing significantly. The availability of new high-speed mobile data services is likely to bring material benefits to consumers and citizens.

"In particular, we have considered the extent to which the benefits to consumers and citizens which we believe will arise from the availability of new LTE services might be outweighed by any temporary or longer term distortion of competition in such services to the detriment of citizens and consumers."

Spoilsports have until April 17 to object.

Read more about: OrangeT-mobile

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10 comments

jmarcelino  Mar. 14, 2012 at 11:33

I can see Vodafone having strong objections on this...

I mean really, give Orange/T-Mobile a full year, maybe more, exclusive head start? This can only end in tears.

MDrX  Mar. 14, 2012 at 11:52

suggesting that any competitive advantage gained by Everything Everywhere would be outweighed by the benefits.

Uh, what? That doesn't make any sense at all.

The UK fast becoming a technological backwater thanks to Ofcom and when they do decide to roll something out, exclusivity is given to the worst networks in the country. Brilliant.

Not that I'm crying out for LTE. I'll take it when it is cheap, widely available and battery life isn't sacrificed. As it is, no ta.

Pondlife  Mar. 14, 2012 at 12:45

Great bonus for everyone on their 3G service too as it would get worse.

lcurdie / MOD  Mar. 14, 2012 at 13:38

suggesting that any competitive advantage gained by Everything Everywhere would be outweighed by the benefits.

Uh, what? That doesn't make any sense at all.


The benefits for consumers, that is.

MDrX  Mar. 14, 2012 at 13:48

I don't think consumers have ever benefited from lack of choice.

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 14, 2012 at 16:17

I don't think consumers have ever benefited from lack of choice.
I'd rather be able to choose to have 4G or not as opposed to being forced not to have it at all, as is the case at the moment. No-one's forcing you to buy 4G access even when it is available...The networks can't all roll out 4G on the same day, can they? They'd be forever arguing when said day was and it's be about 2020 before the UK saw anything like a 4G network.



Great bonus for everyone on their 3G service too as it would get worse.
Surely with less strain (aka the heaviest data users) on LTE the 3G networks would speed up for more average users?



I can see Vodafone having strong objections on this...
It's not Everything Everywhere's fault that Vodafone can't keep up with the times, is it? Vodafone haven't applied to OFCOM to have 4G access in 2012, how's that Everything Everywhere's fault, exactly? Verizon had the only LTE network in the US for ages, that seemed to work okay.



exclusivity is given to the worst networks in the country.
Worst? I'm with T-Mob and I'm 100% happy with their service. The roaming deal they have with Orange is fantastic and their 3G seems to be widespread and a decent speed. Also, their prices are perfectly reasonable (well, in line with the other big name networks, at least).

jmarcelino  Mar. 14, 2012 at 17:12

I can see Vodafone having strong objections on this...
It's not Everything Everywhere's fault that Vodafone can't keep up with the times, is it? Vodafone haven't applied to OFCOM to have 4G access in 2012, how's that Everything Everywhere's fault, exactly? Verizon had the only LTE network in the US for ages, that seemed to work okay.


Vodafone is not "behind the times". The problem is they don't have enough spectrum in the 1800Mhz band for a decent LTE rollout, they can't use their 900Mhz spectrum and 2.1ghz is full of 3G so that's no good either.

Everything Everywhere is the only one with a decent sized allocation of 1800mhz spectrum, thanks to the combination of both companies. Actually they have so much spectrum the EU is forcing them to release part of it, but only in 2013.

The ideal for the UK would be 800mhz, but that's still tied up in analog tv until the digital switchover goes through at the end of this year. Not exactly Vodafone's fault.

You may want to read this http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/13/lte_uk/

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 14, 2012 at 17:39

So you're saying Vodafone's lack of spectrum should disadvantage EE until VF can use the old analogue TV 800mhz band? I welcome 4G, the sooner the better.

This B/S about consumer choice is rectified, no actually, that's the wrong wording, that implies there was an issue to begin with...is answered (that's better), by simple supply and demand. If EE price their 4G access to high, people won't buy it, therefore prices will fall for them to be able to cover their costs. If they keep the prices high and make a loss, we're no worse off than we are now with no 4G and prices will still fall when VF, 3 & O2 launch their 4G LTE networks, as cartels are illegal in the UK (and pretty much every other MEDC).

matt101101 / MOD  Mar. 14, 2012 at 17:45

On the note of frequencies;Telstra, an Australian carrier, have an up and running LTE network using the 1800mhz band, so it's perfectly possible to do, even if it's not the absolute best choice in terms of frequency.

jmarcelino  Mar. 14, 2012 at 19:11

Yes, I'm saying that 4G should wait until its possible to have more than one network.

The whole spectrum issue was caused by Ofcom's mishandling of the Orange/T-Mobile merger, they should never have allowed a single network to retain such a large block of (cheap) radio spectrum. It's not fair for the other players.

The other option of course is forcing EE to allow wholesale roaming at a fair price on their network while they hold the exclusive. Not sure if they'd like that.

As for frequencies yes 1800Mhz is possible, no one says it isn't, however the BIG problem is no one else in Europe runs LTE on 1800Mhz. Because of this you'll also find that phones don't support the EU frequencies AND 1800Mhz. Then US phones don't support EU frequencies, or Australian ones.

So your phone choices will be limited to the same phones Telstra has which I believe is HTC Android or HTC Windows...

It's all a bit rubbish really, so I'd rather we all live in HSPA+ (42Mbit, is that so bad?) for another year and then start growing those 4G networks fairly and using the right area of spectrum compatible with the rest of Europe. There's really no need to rush into decisions that we might never recover from, just for the sake of 4G headlines.

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