Hot on the heels of the announcement of a deal between the UK’s mobile network operators which regulator Ofcom heralded as representing ‘the significant progress that has been made in moving forward the delivery of competitive 4G mobile services across the UK’, EE has formally dated its introduction of commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. Announcing the development, EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: ‘We are delighted to announce that the official launch of our new customer brand, EE, offering the UK’s first superfast mobile 4G and fibre broadband service, will take place on the 30th October 2012. This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in August 2012 Ofcom revealed that it had approved an application made by EE in which the latter sought permission to refarm its existing spectrum in the 1800MHz band in order to offer LTE-based services. In revealing its acceptance of the application, Ofcom noted that following a consultation on the operator’s request it had concluded that varying EE’s existing 1800MHz concession would ‘deliver significant benefits to consumers’, while also noting that it saw ‘no material risk that those benefits will be outweighed by a distortion of competition’. In reaching its decision on the matter Ofcom noted that it had taken into account the forthcoming release of additional spectrum in both the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, with the auction process for such frequencies expected to begin later this year. In parallel with its decision, Ofcom confirmed that it had issued varied licences to EE which authorised the operator to inaugurate LTE services from 11 September 2012.