The Ofcom decision to allow Everything Everywhere to launch an LTE (4G) service on its existing 1,800MHz spectrum has resulted in lots of press coverage this week (here’s me in the the Telegraph) and complaints from the other operators who have to wait for the auctions in the new year.
I can see both sides of the argument and like it or not I agree with the Ofcom decision to let them get on with the launch. We have to get these services out there so we can all start using them. I expect there to be no further delays in the auction process after this.
The big question in my mind is what the LTE packages are going to look like. I could be wrong but I sense that EE is not going to launch very fast services because speed uses up more of the spectrum. My bet is that the services will be perhaps 10 or 15Mbps using smaller chunks of spectrum and not the whizz bang speeds the technoogy can actually achieve.
10 – 15Mbps is still a lot faster than what we have already and allows the operator to offer faster services downstream without having to change its infrastructure. EE could alternatively offer the faster services at launch but at a premium. When it comes to it we don’t actually need 40Mbps (say) on our phones. What we will notice is the faster response rate at 10 – 15Mbps than we currently get.
Offering a speed that is not orders of magnitude faster than the existing services will also help prevent network congestion although the EE infrastructure has had a huge capacity upgrade in readiness for the launch.
The other interesting thing to look out for will be the pricing or more specifically how much data usage you will get for your money. Also which handsets will be supported?
Not long to wait now. Although Timico is an O2 and Vodafone house I will be getting myself an EE 4G SIM to play with.
That’s all folks…