Everything Everywhere has now gained permission from OFCOM to use some of its existing 1800MHz spectrum to provide 4G LTE in the UK. The operator, who own T-Mobile and Orange, have been campaigning to OFCOM for some time to get permission to offer LTE ahead of the 4G auctions , which take place early next year.
Everything Everywhere could now potentially launch LTE on September 11th, but there is little chance they'll be ready to launch by then and the other problem is that no LTE smartphones are currently available in the UK. However, when LTE does launch in the UK it'll offer faster download speeds and open up whole new streaming options on smartphones and tablets.
The other operators are pretty unhappy with OFCOM's decision because they don't have spare spectrum to provide LTE, which in their eyes gives Everything Everywhere an unfair competitive advantage. We tend to agree with them, but we're happy to see the move to 4G accelerated in the UK because were already far behind other countries.
The other operators will have to wait for the 4G auctions at the start of next year before they can begin to offer LTE technology. The auctions relate to offering LTE over the 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum with O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere all guaranteed to bid with Three expected to join the party.
On a side note some sources are referring to 4G LTE technology as full 4G, but LTE is really a transitional stage between 3G and 4G. Actual 4G technology is still some way off, but don't be alarmed because 4G LTE is still a vast improvement over current 3G networks.
By Simon Thomas on 21st August, 2012