Tuesday, 21 August 2012

UK defines a new mobile era, just in time.

Today, The news from OFCOM, the UK's communications regulator is that LTE or 4G is on its way, kind of. Ahead of the much anticipated 4G auction next year, they have agreed everything everywhere (the union of Orange and T-Mobile mobile networks) can reuse part of their frequency (1800 hertz) for 4G.

Customers could potentially take advantage of 4G's improved speeds from September the 11th. Holy moly, did you say September the 11th? Isn't that the day before Apples much hyped and unconfirmed date for the release of the new iPhone, yes the very same!

Now If, and it is a massive if, a massive unconfirmed, internet hyped, rumour rich if, the next iPhone supports 4G on just one frequency, 1800 hertz then Everything and everywhere had secured a massive lead in the UK market. And If Apple have been able to include a chipset that supports multiple 4G frequencies the Orange and T-Mobile duo have still played s blinder as other 4G UK Networks won't come online until at least 2013.

In a country where political correctness, equal opportunities and monopoly and mergers rule, how can it be that one mobile network provider has managed to circumvent everyday fairness.

Throw into the mix to, everywhere and everything's brand statement "Everything Everywhere confirms that we are planning to launch a new brand in the UK later this year. This new brand will sit alongside our existing brands Orange and T-Mobile. We will reveal more information on our exciting plans in due course." released today, then this brand launch could be spearheaded by this 4G advantage. This is akin to Visa using the Olympics as a platform to officially launch contact less payment in the Uk. Or P&G utilising London 2012 to launch P&G as the brand of choice for beauty s d healthcare , in a way never before seen. We all know Pampers, Olay and Pantene connecting them all through the P&G brand is massive.

Everywhere and Everything have a similar moment to capture consumers hearts and Internet speeds, not for the life if a shampoo bottle, but for 24 months of public locked in loyalty.

What about the UK's other leading mobile providers well apparently O2 (the UK's original and exclusive iPhone provider) issued a statement saying "We are hugely disappointed with today’s announcement, which will mean the majority of customers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services. This decision undermines the competitive environment for 4G in the UK."

Vodafone concurred "We are frankly shocked that Ofcom has reached this decision. The regulator has shown a careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, businesses and the wider economy through its refusal to properly regard the competitive distortion created by allowing one operator to run services before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market."

And Three, who market their network on the fact it was Specifically built for the internet conclude "Liberalisation of 2G spectrum to date has distorted the competitive landscape in the UK, which ultimately harms consumers. Further liberalisation without addressing competition issues could make that distortion worse." Three are apparently in talks with Everything and Everywhere to join their 4G party. A condition of the Orange and T-Mobile merger was that the newly formed group would need to sell some of their 4G spectrum to Three. Although at this stage it's unclear wether this from the 1800 hertz spectrum or part of the yet unreleased spectrum to be fort over in provisional Q3 of next year.

Only time, Apple statements, luck and the public will decide what happens next. Exciting times at faster speeds ahead.

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