Preliminary approval has been granted by Ofcom for the 'Everything Everywhere' partnership that is Orange and T-Mobile to launch Britain's first 4G LTE network later this year.
The networks will make use of their 1800MHz spectrum (traditionally used for 2G communication), currently one range of spectrum that's being auctioned off recently by the UK Government (between 800MHz and 2.6GHz is on sale), to bring potential data speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s (theoretically) to the British. However, this deal with Everything Everywhere will bypass this process and make 4G LTE available to their customer within months of approval, instead of waiting until late 2013 (possible early 2014) for permission to go live through the aforementioned auctioning.
Ofcom recognise the advantage this would give T-Mobile and Orange with respects to mobile network prowess; but they don't see it as a prominent threat to the competitors. The mobile communications regulatory body has opened the floor for other networks to file comments by April 17th, with a final statement and conclusion to be made in May. Of course there'll be some resistance to the idea, so we look forward to seeing how this unfolds.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.