Monday, September 24, 2012

4G talks enter final week


The Financial Times reports that talks between the UK Government and mobile broadband operators over the rollout of 4G services are "still in the balance" as they enter their final week ("Talks in the balance over 4G services").

Following EE's soft launch of its 4G service earlier this month using its existing spectrum holdings, in advance of Ofcom's forthcoming spectrum auction, operators agreed to a one month stand-still period where EE agreed not to launch its 4G service and other operators agreed not to launch litigation as discussions were held with Ofcom officials to try and resolve the situation. If no solution is found, the delays to the rollout of 4G services in the UK could be considerable:
"There remains the threat of “years of litigation”, according to one person close to the talks, if other operators seek to block any rollout of the mobile broadband services being planned by EE. In turn, there could be legal action to interrupt the already long-delayed auction of spectrum that could be used by the other groups for 4G, which had been expected later this year."
Other countries are much further ahead with 4G services already available in many. Fingers crossed for an amicable outcome.

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