23 October 2012 10:48
After years of delays, super-fast mobile broadband will finally be available in the UK in just one week's time as Everything Everywhere confirmed it will be launching the country's first 4G service on October 30th.
The launch of 4G services within the UK brings it in line with Scandinavia, South Korea and the US who have all had access to advanced mobile networks for some time. By the end of the Christmas period, any one of 20 million people living close to the UK's largest cities will have the ability to receive the 4G signal.
Prices for consumers looking to move to a 4G plan with Everything Everywhere start at £36 per month and increase to £56 per month based on data allowance amounts. All contracts must also be taken over 24 month period. Consumers with handsets such as the iPhone 5 won't have to upgrade, however those without 4G phones will.
While Everything Everywhere is pushing forward with its 4G rollout, the other network operators still have a wait on their hands. The likes of O2 and Vodafone cannot launch their own super-fast mobile networks until after the upcoming spectrum auction, as they don't currently have the spectrum to support the technology.
The proceeds of the auction for the 4G network licences could raise as much as £4 billion, which Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls feels should be spent on the construction of 100,000 new affordable homes in the UK. However, the Director General of the British Retail Consortium – Stephen Robertson – has argued that this money should be used to support the rollout out of faster fixed-line broadband in remote and rural communities. This will not only support those areas that generally miss out on commercially driven decisions, but increase the competitiveness of the UK economy as a whole.