Mobile workers have been given a boost with the launch of the UK’s first fourth-generation network.
Everything Everywhere – the UK parent company of Orange and T-Mobile – has announced plans to launch 4G services in a number of UK cities.
From this week, consumers in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff will be able to benefit from the firm’s 4G pilot – by accessing super-fast mobile broadband.
The telecoms giant – which is rebranding to EE – will also launch 4G services in another 16 cities before the end of 2012.
Mobile workers in Edinburgh, Belfast, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Southampton, Hull, Nottingham and Derby will be able to take advantage.
“London will be the first major European city to be covered by 4G,” said EE Chief Executive Olaf Swantee.
“We plan to have 4G services available to 20 million in the UK. The EE network will cover 70 per cent by 2013 [and] 90 per cent of [the] UK by 2014.”
EE is launching 4G services in the 1,800MHz frequency band, having been granted permission to do so by Ofcom.
The media regulator carried out a dual consultation before arriving at this decision – one which has riled rival network operators including Vodafone and O2.
These companies will have to wait until at least 2013 before launching rival super-fast mobile broadband services, with Ofcom still to auction off spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands.