4G in the UK : Advantage EE

21 September 2012

A number of developments over the summer have, at least in theory, made the UK 4G mobile spectrum outlook a lot clearer: in July Ofcom issued its final policy statement regarding the 800MHz and 2.6GHz ‘4G’ auctions, in August it decided to allow Everything Everywhere (EE) to ‘refarm’ its 1800MHz spectrum for 4G use, and EE announced that it had sold 15MHz of its 1800MHz spectrum to H3G

The main short term implication is that EE will have clear short term advantage of being the only operator offering 4G (LTE) services for about 12 months from (roughly) the end of September 2012 to (roughly) the end of September 2013

The main uncertainty is legal action; O2 and/or Vodafone may appeal Ofcom’s decision to allow EE to refarm its 1800MHz spectrum, which would trigger EE to appeal the 4G spectrum auction rules, and give 4G in the UK an unhelpful delay

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