EE Confirms Opening Of 4G Network For 30 October
EE finally sets a date after operators quit moaning
EE, the networking giant formerly known as Everything Everywhere, has confirmed it will open up the UK’s first 4G network to users on 30 October.
The announcement came after crunch talks between operators, government and Ofcom saw the latter announce plans to bring forward the date from which other providers could launch 4G services by five months. The deal now means all major providers could have services available by next spring, rather than October 2013.
When Ofcom granted EE permission to launch 4G services over 1800MHz spectrum, rivals such as O2 and Vodafone cried foul, claiming it was anti-competitive.
But last night’s talks brought an end to the tension, and potential legal action, as operators went away ostensibly happy.
Having launched just last month, EE has confirmed the opening date of its 4G services for 30 October, when it will be made available in 10 cities. They include London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. Belfast, Derby, Hull, Nottingham, Newcastle, Southampton are planned to have coverage by the end of the year.
“We are delighted to announce that the official launch of our new customer brand, EE, offering the UK’s first superfast mobile 4G and fibre broadband service, will take place on the 30 October 2012,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE.
“This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time.
“We are very proud to be pioneering, innovating and leading our industry in launching 4G for our nation through our new EE brand.”
EE has still not announced any pricing for its 4G contracts, although has confirmed which phones will be compatible: the iPhone 5, HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, HTC One XL and Huawei Ascend P1 LTE.
Meanwhile, Three has told TechWeekEurope it is still planning to launch 4G services over the 1800MHz spectrum it is to buy from EE, as long as it gets approval, even though EE won’t hand over the spectrum until September. A Three spokesperson said the operator wanted to bid for the 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum due to go on sale at the end of the year in the Ofcom auction.
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