Everything Everywhere, which runs the Orange and T-Mobile networks in the UK, has announced its plans for introducing 4G LTE coverage to the UK. It’s currently upgraded over half its UK network to HSPA+, the ‘3.5G’ service that provides up to 50% faster data speeds than standard 3G connections.
60% of Everything Everywhere’s network is already running HSPA+ 21 (i.e. a maximum data speed of 21Mbps), with the project due to be completed in Q3 2012. Trials of HSPA+ 42 are due to begin later this year.
In addition, the UK’s first 4G LTE trial over 1800MHz - previously used for GSM service - is due to take place in Bristol from April. It’ll run alongside the company’s 4G 800MHz trials in Cornwall. Subject to regulatory approval, a 4G UK roll-out could start later this year.
Olaf Swantee, CEO at Everything Everywhere, said “Everything Everywhere’s vision is to launch 4G for Britain as soon as possible, and the roll out of 3.5G HSPA+ and our 4G trials across Britain are major steps towards delivering on that promise. The integration of the Orange and T-Mobile networks has already given our customers the widest 3G coverage in the UK – and I am pleased to say that with our advanced HSPA+ roll out they will also benefit from the fastest. I am also very proud to announce that, subject to regulatory approval by the spring, Everything Everywhere will be in a position to begin the roll out of 4G before the end of the year. There is a great opportunity for the UK to have the 21st Century network that it so deserves, putting the nation on a level playing field with other parts of Europe, the USA and Asia.”