Further step made to launch 4G on major UK networks

The four major mobile phone networks - O2, Vodafone, Three and EE (comprising T-Mobile and Orange) -have brought the auction for further 4G services in the UK one step closer.

They have formed a jointly controlled company, Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMS), which will be in charge of ensuring that the 800MHz bandwidth freed by the digital switchover and now allocated to 4G will not have any negative impact on digital television signals.

This step was vital for Ofcom and the British government to begin the auction process for that specific spectrum band. The other band, at 2.6GHz, is not affected.

DMS will take over from MitCo, the previous name for the prospective organisation, and will be headed by Andrew Pinder as interim chairman. Among his former positions, Pinder has been in charge of the Government Gateway project to put all of the UK government's departments online. He reported directly to then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The company will be funded by the successful bidders in the 800MHz auction, due to take place before the end of 2012.

"The rollout of 4G is a huge step forward for mobile broadband services in the UK, and will be incredibly important in driving economic growth," said Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

"I am pleased that the mobile operators will be working together to ensure that no viewers lose their television services when 4G is rolled out, and congratulate them on setting up the assistance scheme so quickly."

Pic: (cc) alister667