If you’re an Android user living in the UK you’ll probably be rather frustrated by our American friends and their increasing access to the ‘next generation’ 4G mobile networks. You may also be frustrated by the insanely slow progression by the UK telecoms industry in allocating 4G spectrum to carriers.
Well, there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of a press release from Everything Everywhere today, the people behind the Orange / T-Mobile collaboration east of the Atlantic, and the UK’s largest communications company.
According to the press release, Everything Everywhere is taking steps towards faster mobile broadband data speeds and intends to roll out it’s 4G service by the end of 2012, subject to regulatory approval being received in Q2. Initial trials are due to take place in April on its existing 1800Mhz band for selected users in Bristol, UK, in addition to the existing 4G trail taking place in rural Cornwall on the 800Mhz band. The Cornwall trials have so far shown that 800Mhz is optimal for 4G services in rural areas.
As an intermediate step, the company is expecting to roll out its improved HSPA+21 (3.5G) network to Orange and T-Mobile customers nationwide in the near future. Currently the company claims that 3.5G is already available to 60% of the network. Trials of the improved HSPA+42 service are also due to start in Q2 with the hope that it can be rolled out in Q4.
3.5G is all well and good if it improves data transfer speeds for customers who are currently using 2G or 3G for their mobile browsing, and will be a welcome addition. But it’s 4G that we’re all waiting for and, as an Orange customer myself, I’m hoping that the trials are a success and that the UK’s regulatory body allocates the 4G spectrum without the usual political nonsense that often accompanies such leaps in technology. Bring it on.