Such a network has been available in the US for some time now, but the UK’s plans have always stalled in motion to evolve to the next big step.
The UK’s telecoms watchdog, Ofcom, has set in motion an auction to be held at the end of 2012 for the various mobile phone providers to bid on the airwaves for the next generation of mobile internet.
This should ensure 4G to arrive by early next year and even the smallest mobile companies will have a piece of the deal, with 3, the UK’s smallest operator, guaranteed at least some of the faster network.
The auction is expected to see billions of pounds being spent to get the best coverage over Britain, with the top mobile businesses in Vodafone, O2 and Orange all vying for a big chunk of what’s on offer.
Around £4bn is expected to be spent, which sounds a lot, but when compared to the £22bn raised when 3G was launched back in 2000, it’s a mere drop in the ocean for these service providers. The good news for consumers is that if four companies can compete for the most custom, prices for the newer and faster network will not break their wallets and will be relatively cheap for the service on offer.
It has taken four years to get this far in bringing a 4G network to the UK, after proposals were delayed time after time following an initial announcement. Even the rest of Europe has jumped ahead of the UK in terms of network speeds and services, but now Britain has the chance to finally catch up.
Despite this, the UK is still struggling to offer consumers competitive broadband speeds at home, with just 0.1% of British users having fibre optic speeds of 100MB/s or over, whilst just 1.7% having access to broadband speeds between 30MB/s and 100MB/s.
The government have stepped in to curve the problem, but will cost the taxpayers millions just to get the UK’s broadband services to an average level and it will be sometime until they can compete with the rest of the world.
Author:Sam Bisby writes on behalf of Next Connex colocation services.
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