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O2, Vodafone and EE join forces to speed up UK 4G rollout

Joint company Digital Mobile Spectrum will oversee faster 4G installation
Thu Oct 18 2012, 11:13
Mobile spectrum antenna

THE FOUR MAJOR MOBILE NETWORKS O2, Vodafone, Three and EE have joined forces to speed up provisioning of 4G services in the UK.

Following talks with Ofcom and DCMS ministers, the four operators have formed a jointly controlled company called Digital Mobile Spectrum Ltd.

"The joint venture will be responsible for ensuring that consumers continue to receive clear Freeview TV signals following the roll out of 4G mobile services in the 800 MHz spectrum band from the Spring of next year," telecoms watchdog Ofcom, the UK government and the four major mobile network operators said in a joint statement today.

"Deployment of 4G services in other frequency bands does not require similar measures to be put in place."

Creating the joint company was recently discussed by Ofcom and the government in talks with the mobile phone companies in a bid to speed up the rollout of 4G services.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said the decision to create the company is evidence of the progress in 4G deployment that is being made by the industry across the UK.

"The 4G auction is already on track to begin at the end of the year and the creation of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited ahead of time represents yet another step towards bringing consumers early access to the next generation of mobile broadband services," he said.

Ofcom, the government and the networks said that the joint venture will be funded by the successful bidders for 800MHz spectrum in the upcoming auction. Any party that secures some of this spectrum in the auction will be able to then become a shareholder in the company right away. µ


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