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Everything Everywhere Gets 4G Licence - Just in Time for iPhone 5?



Ofcom has granted the UK operator partnership Everything Everywhere permission to roll out its 4G network early. It could technically be available in time for the launch of the 4G iPhone 5.

Under the agreement, Everything Everywhere - which is comprised of Orange and T-Mobile - will be able to use its 1800MHz spectrum to offer a 4G network service in the UK from September 11 2012.

Ofcom came to this decision because it “will deliver significant benefits to consumers,” while being confident “that there is no material risk that those benefits will be outweighed by a distortion of competition.”

Everything Everything’s rivals, understandably, would disagree. Responding to the decision, Vodafone made this statement:

“We are frankly shocked that Ofcom has reached this decision. The regulator has shown a careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, businesses and the wider economy through its refusal to properly regard the competitive distortion created by allowing one operator to run services before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market."

Not too happy, then.


Still, for UK customers the possible availability of Everything Everywhere’s 4G service could come at an interesting time. Apple’s iPhone 5 is widely expected to be announced on September 12 - and one of its new features should be 4G connectivity. Who would have thought we could have a 4G iPhone in the UK by the end of 2012?

We still may not, as Everything Everywhere won’t necessarily be ready to roll with its 4G offering straight away. Also, there’s no saying for sure that the iPhone 5 will support the UK 4G spectrum - the new iPad's 4G model is incompatible with current European 4G standards.

We should also remember that Everything Everywhere’s initial 4G coverage is likely to be less than comprehensive. All caveats aside though, this is a positive step for UK smartphone users.

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August 21, 2012, 3:38 pm

Sounds a bit like sour grapes from Vodafone, et al. If they had a spare frequency range within their licensed bandwidth, like Orange/T-Mobile do, then they could have done the same and repurposed it for 4G signaling and media. Yes, it's a competitive advantage for Orange/T-Mobile, but it seems like a fair one to me.


August 22, 2012, 12:23 am

I will laugh if the iphone 5 doesn't support the frequency, but I guess they would have confirmed that with apple atleast. The current-generation iPad only supports LTE over 700 MHz and 2100 MHz frequencies.

I just wish the 4g would hurry up and be rolled out. Whats stopping Ofcom from having the auction now... or is it just a money making scheme to make the networks desperate and spend more come auction time? Seriously this is bull. Why is UK as a so called first world country lagging so far behind the world on cellular standards.

Last thing I won't be moving from vodafone just because orange and t-mobile happen to have 4g early. @pimlicosound do agree if the available range is availalbe then why not ...


August 22, 2012, 4:34 am

I just looked up and according to a map of commercially available LTE, even places like India, Armenia, and Uzbekistan have LTE available. No disrespect to them, but we're supposedly one of the most advanced countries in the world, particularly for communications (yeah....how long have they had 1Gb/s broadband in Portugal now? And how long have we....oh we haven't...), all this bureaucratic nonsense is holding us back and it's bad not only for the consumer, but for the economy as we try to be taken seriously as a technology leader/hub and attract overseas investment. They need to stop p*ssing about with this red tape nonsense quite frankly and get this technology rolled out, it is a joke that LTE has been available in the US since 2010 and MAYBE we'll get it on one network in 2012.
Especially given that until only a couple of years back it wasn't even possible to SMS between competing networks in the US!! (I had friends in the states and the restrictions on their cell networks back in 2006 or so made them looked stone-aged compared to ours...not so now!)

OK I admit that's a bit of a rant and the subject annoys me. The UK is so eccentrically backwards sometimes, it's infuriating!

I feel better now. :)


August 22, 2012, 4:37 am

Exactly. To my mind the question shouldn't be "Is this unfair to the other providers and should we not allow EE to do it?" but "Why has the spectrum auction for all providers not already occurred so that consumers in the UK can be offered a services that many around the world have taken for granted for the past two years?" and "Are Ofcom crooked, useless or incompetent for allowing UK telecoms standards to have lagged so far behind the rest of the developed world?"


August 24, 2012, 4:11 am

If any of the networks even think about charging more for the allegedly faster service that LTE is supposed to bring, they'll have another thing coming. Telco networks are full of hot air and marketing BS. This should be a no cost update (to the consumers) to the existing poor & heavily over-priced services. (Three UK excluded)

3G has only recently started delivering on the speed and reliability promised way back when. And that's only if you live close enough to a beacon. In the past 5 days i've had next to no 3G coverage and very little 2G coverage whilst travelling around vast areas of the NE of England. (Three & O2 networks)

Much improved basic 2G network coverage please, as well as faster data services in urban areas.


August 24, 2012, 8:35 pm

Besides, why should we pay extra when we're already two years behind Everywhere Else?

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