When Everything Everywhere laid down its challenge to Ofcom at the end of February, saying it wanted to use its 1800MHz bandwidth to launch 4G in the UK before the end of the year, there couldn’t have been many people who expected the regulator to let the network’s plans pass without interference.
Today though, Ofcom has proved anyone who doubted them wrong, as it has given its permission to Everything Everywhere to go ahead with its plans. To clarify, Ofcom will let Orange and T-Mobile use its extensive 1800MHz spectrum allocation to deploy a 4G LTE service in the UK.
Everything Everywhere owns a huge chunk of that spectrum, far more than any other UK operator, and although according to The Register it’s not the ideal LTE band, it’s far more preferable than no LTE at all.
If you’re wondering about the much-delayed spectrum auction said to be coming at the end of the year, where networks would be able to buy bandwidth especially for 4G LTE use, it’s still going to happen, but it’s for 800MHz and not 1800MHz.
The only stumbling block left for Everything Everywhere is if any of its competitors complain to Ofcom. Although the regulator clearly thinks the benefit of giving the UK a 4G LTE network outweighs any competitive advantage the network may gain, others may not agree. They’ve got until 17 April to register their disapproval. Here’s hoping they follow Ofcom’s lead.