UK MOBILE OPERATORS O2's and Vodafone's upgraded 3G connectivity will rival speeds offered by EE's 4G LTE network, according to telecoms analyst Matthew Howett.
Howett, a telecoms analyst at Ovum, said that thanks to O2's and Vodafone's decision to form a collaborative network, the operators' 3G speeds could rival those offered on EE's 1800MHz 4G network, which Ofcom gave the green light yesterday to roll out across the UK in the coming weeks.
"Much has been made of the Iphone 5 '4G exclusivity' that EE will have. However the other players have also been busy upgrading their 3G technologies, which for a time will almost rival EE's 4G speed capability," Howett said.
"The problem lies with them being able to market this speed boost as true 4G - it isn't and will only come once they have acquired the new and additional spectrum that is now finally on the horizon."
These comments follow Ofcom's decision to bring forward the spectrum auction, which means that O2 and Vodafone might be able to offer 4G services by Summer 2013.
Unsurprisingly, the two mobile networks have welcomed the news of the early spectrum auction.
"We welcome the statement from the DCMS and are pleased to have influenced the process to bring the date forward for universal access to 4G," an O2 spokesperson told The INQUIRER.
Vodafone added, "There is still a lot of work to be done but we now have a path to the launch of competitive 4G services next Spring, bringing real benefits to consumers, businesses and the wider economy." µ