EE will launch its 4G LTE mobile data service on 30 October, after competitors Three, O2, and Vodafone dropped the threat of legal action.
After a day of discussions between the network carriers and Culture Minister, Maria Miller, it was also announced that the auction for spectrum to enable more 4G services will take place in January next year. Services on those bands are expected to be launched in the first half of 2013.
‘Delivering 4G quickly is a key part of our economic growth strategy,’ said Miller. ‘I am grateful to the mobile operators for their co-operation in bringing forward vital 4G services. The open and collaborative approach taken between the government and the mobile companies will have hugely beneficial results for UK business and investment. We anticipate that 4G services will boost the UK’s economy by around £2-3bn.’
Apple’s iPhone 5 supports the 1800MHz spectrum on which EE will launch its new service, but not the 800MHz and 2600Mhz spectra which will be auctioned off in January. The new iPad supports LTE on frequencies used in the US and Canada, but not on 800MHz, 1800Mhz, or 2600Mhz.