Everything Everywhere CEO Olaf Swantee says Ofcom must free up 1800MHz band in order for 4G network to be rolled up so UK is not left behind by other nations
Everything Everywhere (EE) says it will be ready to roll out a 4G LTE network by the end of the year, if Ofcom rules it can liberalise its share of the 1800MHz spectrum band.
It says its currently in the process of setting up a 4G LTE trial using its 1800Mhz spectrum in Bristol which will begin in April in addition to the current 4G LTE trial currently being run in Cornwall since July 2011.
It also claims it will have rolled out its HSPA+ or 3.5G network by the end of Q2 following the approval of a £1.5 billion network evolution project.
Speaking to members of the press at EE’s offices in Paddington its CEO Olaf Swantee (pictured) said the new 3.5G network would see both T-Mobile and Orange mobile broadband customers see their internet speeds increase by up to 50 per cent.
Swantee said: “Everything Everywhere’s vision is to launch 4G for Britain as soon as possible, and the roll out of 3.5G HSPA+ and our 4G trials across Britain are major steps towards delivering on that promise.
“The integration of the Orange and T-Mobile networks has already given our customers the widest 3G coverage in the UK – and I am pleased to say that with our advanced HSPA+ roll out they will also benefit from the fastest.
“I am also very proud to announce that, subject to regulatory approval by the spring, Everything Everywhere will be in a position to begin the roll out of 4G before the end of the year.”
Swantee told the gathered press it was “critical” that Ofcom gave its approval to the liberalisation of the 1800Mhz band and set out a date for a spectrum auction as soon as possible.
He said the UK, was being left behind other countries such as the US and Germany in terms of 4G LTE technology and claimed it was EE’s “duty” to ensure this lead was taken.
“The US used to be years behind the UK in terms of mobile technology and now when you go over there, they have 4G services on tap. You can walk into a store and buy a new 4G handset or dongle,” Swantee said.
“The UK has traditionally been the country that has been ahead in this industry for many years and we have to get that back.
“4G is critically important to the UK, I see it as our duty because we are the largest operator to bring 4G to the market, we really need it here in the UK. The auction and the liberalisation are both critical.”