Mobile users in UK have to wait for 4G as sell off delayed

By Posted 6 Sep 2011, 08:49

While users in America are seeing their 4G networks being expanded, over in the UK users are still without a single network available. Earlier this year we reported of Ofcoms plans to begin selling licensees at the start of next year. Now mobile users in the UK will have to wait longer for 4G as the sell off is delayed.

It was set to be the British government’s largest spectrum sell off ever, but now according to Guardian.co.uk this won’t happen until the second quarter of next year at the earliest. British telecom’s watchdog Ofcom was thought to be publishing the terms of the auction this month. But after threats of legal action from the carriers including O2, this will not now be ready until November.

A spokesman from Ofcom said: “We are still aiming for the first half of next year. However, we have always maintained it is an ambitious timescale.” Any court case would delay the release of 4G licenses that would benefit the UK biggest mobile carriers, Everything Everywhere, O2, and Vodafone.

It wouldn’t be so good for the newest and smallest carrier Three, because the older carriers have spare spectrum that they are now allowed to reallocate for making calls and internet access. Three unfortunately has none of this so has to compensate by offering customers genuine unlimited mobile broadband access.

The carrier will also run out of spare data capacity before the other carriers, and the 4G auction will allow successful bidders to provide 4G services by the end of 2013. Three recently offered rural communities in the country free access to broadband in an attempt to win favor from MPs and regulators.

UK cell phone users will be seeing all the new handsets becoming available for the likes of AT&T and Verizon customers in the US with 4G capability. The successful Samsung Galaxy S II is also set to get 4G capability in Europe next year but unfortunately UK users won’t be able to make full use of it.

Are you disappointed that there is no 4G service in the UK or are you happy with 3G?

  • Ray

    Well, we should be on 4G already by now as the states isn’t better than us here in the UK…
    Ohhh… No we aren’t happy with the 3G, it’s very slow most of time… Hope to see the use of the 4G devices soon…. Pleaaaaaaase…