The carriers are likely to end up paying millions more each year for their 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum, reflecting the fact that this spectrum can now be reused for 3G and 4G, not just voice and SMS.
Three carriers now offer super-fast mobile broadband services in the UK, although EE has had a valuable headstart on its rollout. Underdog Three will join the party in December — and unlike the others, it won’t charge a premium for 4G.
The UK’s biggest mobile carriers have now all detailed their 4G offerings, and at the low-end price point Vodafone offers a 2GB cap while EE and O2 offer 1GB. However, the disruptive fourth player is still to show its hand.
EE has enjoyed a de facto monopoly on 4G in the UK since last year, but Vodafone looks set to offer higher data caps and attractive extras when it joins the party later this month.
O2’s 4G services will go live in London, Leeds and Bradford on 29 August, with 10 more cities to follow this year. With EE’s 4G already up and running, that just leaves Vodafone and Three to firm up their dates.
The UK’s only LTE carrier – for now – has diversified its offerings by introducing a range of new plans. But with other carriers set to join the 4G fray, only time will tell whether it got its pricing right.
Huawei has set up a testing facility in the U.K. to assure security services that its widespread networking kit is backdoor-free. Only it turns out “the Cell” doesn’t have a whole lot of oversight.
It appears that LTE subscriber numbers at EE — a carrier that still has a monopoly on 4G in the UK — are increasing at an accelerating pace. But rivals are set to launch their 4G offerings soon.
British privacy advocates have reacted with horror to the idea of EE and market research firm Ipsos Mori selling anonymized customer data. On balance, they shouldn’t worry so much.
EE is doubling the amount of 1800MHz capacity it is dedicating to LTE, meaning many customers will get real-world speeds of over 20Mbps. The move comes as EE’s rivals prepare to launch 4G services.