EE has officially announced it will launch its 4G service in the UK on October 30th in ten lucky cities. What does that mean for the rest of the UK carriers? Telecommunications watchdog Ofcom has now confirmed that 4G services will reach the other carries starting around the spring and summer of 2013.
The biggest hurdle standing in the way of the 4G LTE auction process was getting all UK operators to come to an agreement. Previously, it was feared that agreements to secure the spectrum needed to launch 4G nationwide wouldn't occur for many more months, with a launch projected for late 2013 and beyond. This is major progress. Ofcom will start the auctioning process at the year's end, with bidding starting in early 2013.
Unsurprisingly, Vodafone and O2 are very pleased that 4G will be reaching their networks sooner than planned. Here's what Vodafone officially had to say:
We welcome the constructive work that Ofcom, the Government and the industry has undertaken over the past four weeks. There is still a lot of work to be done but we now have a path to the launch of competitive 4G services next Spring, bringing real benefits to consumers, businesses and the wider economy.
There is no denying that this is good news for carriers and consumers alike, but it still leaves us a big question. Will other carriers be able to catch up to EE's headstart? Only time will tell for sure.