Despite announcing back in June that spectrum auctions for 4G networks in the United Kingdom would be delayed until “early 2013,” Ofcom has given Everything Everywhere approval to begin its 4G network rollout from September 11.
The regulator announced on its website this morning that Everything Everywhere will rebrand its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver 4G services to the U.K. for the first time. Ofcom also noted that this would provide “significant benefits to consumers,” and that “there is no material risk that those benefits will be outweighed by a distortion of competition.“
As for the rest of the U.K.’s carriers, they’ll have to wait until early 2013 to bid on the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands at auction. Reports this morning have claimed that rivals aren’t pleased that Everything Everywhere — the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile — has been given a head start. However, Ofcom maintains that delaying it would only be “to the detriment of consumers.”
This is great news for those in the U.K., of course, who have watched mobile consumers in the U.S. enjoy super speedy 4G smartphones and tablets for a number of years while getting by with 3G. Although, I do feel that it’s a shame only Everything Everywhere subscribers will gain access to these benefits before 2013.
[via The Next Web]