UK network Three is said to be in the process of buying part of Everything Everywhere’s 4G mobile services spectrum, meaning it too would be able to roll-out 4G to its customers before the end of the year.
Ofcom has announced that it has approved Everything Everywhere’s1,800MHz 4G bandwidth application, allowing the network to provide 4G services from 11 September - notably, a day before the rumoured unveiling of the iPhone 5.
The Financial Times reports that Everything Everywhere - owner of T-Mobile and Orange – has been forced to sell fragments of its spectrum to Three by European competition authorities.
The move would mean both networks stealing a march on rival operators O2 and Vodafone, which won’t be in position to roll out 4G mobile services until 2013 after Ofcom has held an auction between the networks.
Three will still be involved in next year's auction, when Ofcom decides how to divide the rest of the 4G spectrum across the country.
UPDATE: Three has now confirmed that it is indeed buying 2x15MHz of 1800MHz spectrum from Everything Everywhere, so expect 4G and LTE devices to be rolled out by the network before the end of the year:
Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK said: “Acquiring this spectrum will more than double the capacity available to customers on our network. We have seen a huge growth in data consumption with average mobile handset customer usage now more than 1.1GB per month.
Three has led the market in the significant growth of mobile data consumption and the shift to consumer use of smartphones to access the internet. New spectrum, supported by further committed technology spend, is a clear signal that we are committed to maintain our lead as the network built for the mobile internet.”
Do you welcome this news? What network are you on? Let us know in the comments below...