Mainstream 4G mobile services could be available in the UK as early as this year, under proposals outlined today by Ofcom. The mobile operator Everything Everywhere has submitted an application to Ofcom to use its existing spectrum to deliver 4G services.
Allowing Everything Everywhere to reuse its spectrum in this way is likely to bring material benefits to consumers, including faster mobile broadband speeds and, depending on how Everything Everywhere uses the spectrum, potentially wider mobile broadband coverage in rural areas, noted Ofcom.Ofcom has already considered whether allowing Everything Everywhere to use this spectrum in this way would distort competition, and has provisionally concluded that it would not. Given the benefits this would bring to consumers, Ofcom is in a good position to go ahead with the proposed change of spectrum use.Interested parties have four weeks in which to submit their views on this proposed change.UK Broadband also announced in February 2012 that it will launch a 4G network this year. Using its 3.5 GHz spectrum, it plans to offer commercial 4G services from May 2012 on a wholesale basis. The network will initially cover the Southbank and Borough areas of Southwark.