Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Everything Everywhere Gets Permission to Roll with 1800 MHz LTE

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator for the UK, has granted permission to Everything Everywhere (EE) to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver 4G services after 11-September-2012.

The decision follows a consultation as to whether an earlier start in LTE by EE ahead of other networks would distort competition. The decision takes account of the forthcoming release of additional spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands, in an auction process set to begin later this year, which will enable other operators to launch competing 4G services from next year.

Everything Everywhere provides mobile and fixed-broadband communications services to more than 27 million customers through the Orange and T-Mobile brands. "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."


  • In July 2012, Ofcom, the telecoms regulator for the UK, announced its largest ever auction of spectrum for mobile services-- the equivalent of three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today – some 80% more than released in the 3G auction which took place in 2000. The auction of spectrum for LTE is set to get underway before the end of the year.

    Key details of the auction have now been confirmed, including plans to reserve some of the available spectrum for a fourth national wholesaler other than the three largest mobile operators.

    The 4G auction will offer at least two spectrum bands – 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. The lower frequency 800 MHz band is part of the 'digital dividend', which is ideal for widespread mobile coverage. The higher frequency 2.6 GHz band is ideal for delivering the capacity needed to deliver faster speeds. These two bands add up to 250 MHz of additional mobile spectrum, compared to 333 MHz in use today.

    The spectrum bands will be auctioned to bidders as a series of lots. One of the 800 MHz lots of spectrum will carry an obligation to provide a mobile broadband service for indoor reception to at least 98% of the UK population by the end of 2017 at the latest.

    Mobile operators are expected to start rolling out 4G networks using the auctioned spectrum from the middle of 2013, and to start offering 4G services to consumers later that year.