Superfast 4G services to become available this month

 

Superfast 4G services will be available in 10 cities across the UK by the end of the month, the owner of Orange and T-Mobile said today.

EE, formerly known as Everything Everywhere, will launch its range of 4G products and services on October 30 in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.

The 4G network, which offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G, will be available on the Apple iPhone 5 as well as devices from HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei.

The announcement comes after regulator Ofcom last night agreed to make remaining 4G airspace available to other operators sooner than planned - averting a legal challenge from the likes of rivals Vodafone and O2 owner Telefonica.

Clearing the airwaves ready for use earlier will allow other operators to offer their services by spring next year, rather than October 2013.

EE chief executive Olaf Swantee said: "This is a significant milestone for the UK 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."

EE said customers in a further six cities - Belfast, Derby, Hull, Newcastle, Nottingham and Southampton - will have access to 4G by the end of the year.

The group then plans to roll out the service to further towns, cities and rural areas next year, with population coverage of 70% and rising to 98% in 2014.

The 4G services will allow uninterrupted access to the web on the go, high definition movies to be downloaded in minutes and TV to be streamed without buffering.

Ofcom's decision to make the services available to other operators earlier than planned came after a meeting hosted by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said the Government expects that 4G services will boost the UK's economy by around £2 to £3 billion.

She said: "Delivering 4G quickly is a key part of our economic growth strategy. I am grateful to the mobile operators for their co-operation in bringing forward vital 4G services."

PA

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