A new LTE network could run on Everything Everywhere’s existing spectrum, said CEO Olaf Swantee
Everything Everywhere could become the first UK mobile operator to launch a commercial 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network later this year.
According to Bloomberg, the joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom has already applied to Ofcom to run the network on its existing airwaves on a small scale before expanding the service.
Jumping the gun
“Subject to regulatory approval by springtime, Everything Everywhere will be in a position to roll out 4G services before the end of the year,” Everything Everywhere CEO Olaf Swantee is reported to have said. “The service will help the UK to get back in line with other markets.”
Ofcom apparently told the company last month that its application to use its existing spectrum would be considered in the first quarter of this year and that it had already been granted a trial licence
Such a move would give it an advantage over rivals Vodafone and O2 who are waiting for more frequencies to become available before launching a similar offering. The perpetually delayed auction for 4G spectrum in the UK has been postponed even further after Ofcom decided to launch a second consultation following technical problems and pressure from the networks.
Ofcom had previously said that it wouldn’t delay the process any more, but has since warned that a commercial 4G network may not be available in the UK for another four years, with the auction likely to take place in the fourth quarter of this year.
The latest proposals from the communication watchdog were revealed last month and confirmed that Everything Everywhere would not be reserved spectrum has had been previously indicated. The only network that will have spectrum reserved will be Three, which has warned that it could go out of business if it doesn’t secure enough bandwidth, leaving the UK with just three 4G operators.