Ofcom changes its 4G plans - coverage to be extended
Ofcom has revised its plans for dealing with the 4G spectrum, announcing that it aims to bring coverage to at least 98 per cent of the population.
This means, once it does eventually go live, that consumers across the country should all be able to access the speedier mobile network. This would put the UK in a position unlike many other countries which currently have 4G, most of which only boast the network in select areas or cities.
The Ofcom plans will also help to increase competition between mobile networks, bringing a better deal to consumers. The idea is to ensure every operator gets the right amount of access to the 4G spectrum in order to be able to compete with bigger networks. The 98 per cent coverage should also help prevent a situation whereby only certain areas of the country offer 4G on certain networks, forcing consumers into a smaller choice should they want speed.
Ofcom is looking at another option instead of forcing operators to bring 98 per cent coverage to the country. The idea is to make one 800MHz network provider's 4G coverage match its 2G coverage and extend out into areas without any mobile capabilities. Personally we like the former idea as we think it will result in a much larger amount and better access to, 4G coverage.
Ofcom is also to keep some of the 2.6GHz 4G spectrum for other new mobile network providers. This means there could be things like small local networks for student campuses, offices or hospitals, something we definitely like the idea of.
"As the UK enters a new generation of mobile communications, Ofcom’s objective is to promote effective competition and to stimulate both investment and innovation.
“We are proposing a significant enhancement of mobile broadband, extending 4G coverage beyond levels of existing 2G coverage – helping to serve many areas of the UK that have traditionally been under-served by network coverage." said an Ofcom spokesperson.
A final decision on the way Ofcom wants the 4G spectrum handled will be made in the summer this year.
What do you think to the 4G plans? Let us know in the comments below...