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Could the UK Be Getting 4G Signal in 2012?

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 128

Unlike the USA, Japan and a number of European countries, the UK is sadly lacking when it comes to providing customers with 4G signal, and the corresponding fast mobile internet speeds.

In fact, Ofcom has only recently given the go-ahead for the 4G auction to take place. The severe delays in the auction are, in part, down to lack of availability of frequency ranges, because analogue TV has still been occupying the spectrum!

There have also been rumours that some of the larger networks have threatened legal action to delay the auction. O2 has been linked to the delay in Ofcom publishing the terms of the auction, and O2 are certainly set to benefit from pushing the auction further and further back in the year.

All of which is bad for the consumer, who has to make do with 3G connection speeds whilst the big companies brawl it out at the top.

But Everything Everywhere, the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile, has now announced that plans to roll out 4G infrastructure in 2012! Is this a realistic aim for the network giant?

Their side of the story

Everything Everywhere want to roll out 4G at the end of 2012. Subject to receiving the necessary approval, they expect to be ready to do so in December 2012. This is an impressive proposal, backed up by months of 4G research that they will have already carried out in both Cornwall and Bristol. Each of these trials operates on a separate frequency, allowing Everything Everywhere to draw on more complete and robust data.

Everything Everywhere are also investing in the core backbone of their two networks. They are committed to providing Gigabit Ethernet connectivity between mobile phone masts and the core servers providing coverage. This means that Orange and T-Mobile customers can benefit from robust download speeds, no matter what the demand is on the network.

Can it be done?

Everything Everywhere clearly have big ambitions for the UK market, but are these likely to come to fruition?

Other countries already have 4G in place, although some examples are better than others. The system in the USA is fragmented at best, with certain phones unable to one on certain operators, simply because of an incompatibility of the technology.

Networks have always been keen to keep their own customers, but should this be to the extent handset manufacturers have to choose their allegiances before they have even begun designing their product?

The UK implementation of 4G will need to learn from the experiences in other countries in order to provide the best 4G networks for UK customers.

Will the technology work?

It has recently emerged that the 4G signal could be present on frequencies that will disrupt the signal that is received by freeview boxes that provide the UK with digital TV.

This latest development is bad news - the switchover to digital TV is only recently nearing completion, and disruption to this process may be seen as a big waste of time and resources. The BBC reports that individuals will receive some assistance if their TV signal is disturbed by 4G signal, so in theory this issue should not impede the 4G rollout.

Can Everything Everywhere deliver?

With a history that proves their commitment to signal quality, (like their "Share Signal" campaign), T-Mobile UK and Orange Mobile could well be the first networks to offer 4G in the UK. What is certain is that the other networks will want to catch up; and this can only be a good thing for the UK consumer. Competition over 4G means that it will reach UK shores sooner. About time too.

Freya Marlin has worked in the UK mobile phone industry for a number of years, and has written for a number of websites concerning Orange and T-Mobile Phones.

Source: EzineArticles
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