Considering the back and forth arguing of the different mobile providers in the UK about how the 4G auction should be completed, you’d be forgiven for not believing that they’ve now banded together to speed up the release of the 4G spectrum: but that’s exactly what’s happened.
Vodafone, Everything Everywhere (formerly Orange and TMobile), Three and O2 have all joined forces to create a joint company between them known as Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL). The purpose of the firm will be to speed up the release of current 800MHz band TV broadcasts, so that it can also be used as part of the upcoming 4G network. While this company creation was always on the cards according to Techcrunch, it wasn’t expected until after the 4G spectrum auction – set to take place later this year.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said with regards to the 800MHz agreement: “This is further evidence of the progress that is being made by the industry, guided by Ofcom, to deliver 4G mobile services across the UK. The 4G auction is already on track to begin at the end of the year and the creation of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited ahead of time represents yet another step towards bringing consumers early access to the next generation of mobile broadband services.”
Those that have been following the continued fiasco that is the 4G rollout, will remember that up until a few months ago, the big four mobile operators were arguing about how the auction should be completed. Three wanted preferential treatment because it was the smallest operator, while the others pointed out that Three had masses of investment money and would easily be able to compete. However all that came to a halt when OfCom granted Everything Everywhere the right to use its existing 2G spectrum as a 4G network as soon as possible.
This head start kicked the others in to gear and they quickly agreed to get the auction under way. As it stands, the rest of the world is far ahead of the UK in terms of 4G data adoption.
KitGuru Says: Again, it’s about time. The UK is one of the world’s leading economies, it’s embarrassing that we’re as far behind as we are when it comes to 4G, let alone the state of our internet connection speeds which are well below those of far smaller eastern European nations.