While US smartphone consumers look forward to the next 4G LTE device to be released, people in the UK have enough trouble getting a 3G connection at times. The UK 4G network coverage is still moving at a snail’s pace, and is unlikely to be widely available before 2015.
Regulator Ofcom has revealed in its draft annual plan for 2012/2013 its thoughts on the future for 4G networks in the UK. According to Cnet there is no chance of any such networks next year, and should start rolling out in 2013 and 2014, but will not be cover most of the country until 2015.
This will disappoint many consumers looking enviously at their US cousins who are already receiving. A 4G network will also be used to provide internet access to more rural locations where currently any service is patchy at best.
Auctions are expected to begin for 4G spectrums in 2013 now after originally being scheduled for next year, even though Ofcom are still hoping to start these next year if possible. We reported before that UK carrier O2 had begun testing a 4G network in various locations in London. This followed BT and Everything Everywhere starting similar trials down in Cornwall.
Whatever happens it could be a good three years before there is any reliable 4G service rolled out to UK customers. The auction is likely to cost carriers huge amounts just like it did when the 3G spectrums were sold off. The UK is even lagging behind fellow European states with regards to 4G networks, but will come eventually.
Will you be glad to have access to 4G or you happy with the data speeds you get now?
Also See: UK 4G coverage could start in 2012