Everything Everywhere has again emphasised its desire to bring a 4G network to the UK, following successful trials.
The operator, a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile, told Pocket-lint that it is extremely confident Ofcom won’t stand in its way in rolling out 4G before rival operators, despite objections it could lead to a monopoly of the market.
“I would personally find it very strange for our government to stand up and say no you can’t have the next generation of mobile broadband when they have been championing the rollout for years,” argued David Salam, head of Network Strategy and Architecture at Everything Everywhere.
“O2 and Vodafone have had their opportunities to do the same, but they have chosen not to champion 4G. It’s a choice. We have many proof points of how they could have used their existing spectrum to bring a 4G service to the UK.”
A 4G network has been described by Everything Everywhere as a real “game changer”, enabling seamless TV streaming, easier access to cloud content including gaming services and better video calling on mobile devices all without the need of a Wi-Fi connection.
The operator says it hopes it will be allowed to begin rolling out 4G on a small scale later this year, with existing wholesale agreements with the likes of Three as well as MVNO Virgin Mobile, meaning they too could be using 4G before the end of 2012.
“I would like to drive 4G hard,” added Salam. “The country’s ready. The country wants it.”
UPDATE: O2 has contacted Pocket-lint to tell us: "Everything Everywhere has asked the Government for a change to its licence to run 4G services on their existing 2G network band, so they can launch up to a year early, something the other operators are not in a position to do.
"It would seem that this is about the interests of one business rather than for the benefit of all UK customers and to deliver on the promise of making Britain digital.
"Everything Everywhere say we can ask to liberalise our own 900 spectrum for 4G but, as they know, there are no devices compatible with 4G on that band. There is so little 900 spectrum in Europe that it doesn’t make commercial sense for the manufacturers to build the handsets to support it. And that is not going to change.
"The mobile market in the UK offers customers value and quality because we have the most competitive landscape in Europe. We are interested in acting openly in the interests of all UK customers. Our preparations have involved the UK’s first London 4G trial network, which is used and exploited by our 4G superfans. Our efforts have demonstrated the very real need for, and benefit of, 4G in the UK."
This looks like a debate that shows no signs of cooling down anytime soon.
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