It’s a good time to be launching a new mobile brand in the UK. EE will, to all intents and purposes, be a new network but crucially, one which has excellent coverage to compete with the existing players. This is what has made it difficult for new operators like 3 in the past. Most importantly, when EE launches later this year it will have at least five devices that work on the 4G network including the best-selling Samsung Galaxy 3.
In the removal of 18 letters from its brand name, EE has catapulted the UK’s mobile operator community out of a Prisoner’s Dilemma, and is leading the country’s 4G charge.
At a press conference in London, Everything Everywhere – the company formed by the merger of the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK – has announced that it will be launching its LTE service by the end of 2012. The company has pledged to bring 4G services to 16 cities covering a third of the population in the coming weeks.
The mobile commerce joint venture between UK operators O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere (parent of the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK) has been granted unconditional approval by the European Commission (EC).
In a move to ignite mobile payments in the UK, operator group Everything Everywhere, formed by the merger of the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the country, has signed an exclusive, five-year partnership with payment processor MasterCard. The two firms said that they plan to develop mobile and digital payment solutions for the operator’s 27 million-strong subscriber base, by combining their financial and technological assets to create new payment products and services.
Despite being given permission from UK regulator Ofcom to launch LTE services from September 2012, Everything Everywhere will not be in a position to offer 4G-enabled handsets for some time due to a lack of availability. The operator – formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK – is instead more likely to follow the route of early LTE adopter operators and initially launch its service via USB dongles.
Following the decision announced today by UK regulator Ofcom to allow Everything Everywhere to offer LTE services in its existing 1800MHz spectrum at any point from September 11, 2012, EE has sold off part of its 1800MHz spectrum to 3UK.
Mobile operator Vodafone has lambasted UK regulator Ofcom for its decision to allow Everything Everywhere to launch LTE services at 1800MHz, ahead of the LTE spectrum auction process. In a statement attributed to a Vodafone UK spokesperson the operator dismissed Ofcom’s ruling as “careless” and “bizarre”, adding that the regulator was “all that stands in the way” of a competitive LTE landscape for the UK.
LTE services could be launched in the UK in as early as three weeks, after the country’s regulator has given permission to Everything Everywhere (EE) to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver the technology to consumers. Ofcom has ruled that the operator will be allowed to launch LTE services at any point from September 11, 2012.
Back in April I looked at some of the issues surrounding Everything Everywhere’s proposal to launch LTE services over its existing 1800MHz spectrum, noting that all parties, regulator and operators, have shot themselves in the foot by delaying the upcoming 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum auction. With O2 and Vodafone complaining about state aid on the one hand, and Ofcom issuing consultation after consultation on the other, it was beginning to look as if the UK might never get 4G.
UK operator Everything Everywhere claims that it will be able to get new MVNOs up and running on its network in just ten minutes after signing a deal with a mobile virtual network aggregator (MVNA). The operator, formed by the merger between T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, is looking to grow the number of MVNOs it supports on its network and has enlisted the services of Atmovia to help out. The
Apple once again posted huge financials, with the iPhone and iPad maker hitting quarterly revenue of $35bn and quarterly net profit of $8.8bn for the quarter ended June 30, an increase on the $28.6bn revenue and $7.3bn profit that it recorded in the same period last year.
UK fixed and mobile operators are divided over whether to sign up to a voluntary code of practice in support of net neutrality. While ten service providers have signed up, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Virgin Media have so far refused.
UK regulator Ofcom has unveiled plans for the country’s 4G spectrum auction. The UK has lagged other leading markets and Ofcom has revealed that spectrum will be allocated in 2013. Ofcom has set aside spectrum intended to guarantee the presence of four LTE operators in the UK market.
Consumers have shown that they are willing to pay a premium for a smartphone if the device is good enough. But they have not been enticed by low-cost smartphones, as it seems that many consumers in developed markets view their smartphone as both a crucial part of their lives and a status symbol. And at the end of the day, if they’re stuck with a phone for a 24-month contract, they want a good one.