In a decision that shocked many in the industry, Ofcom has granted Everything Everywhere, parent company of Orange and T-Mobile, permission to offer 4G speeds in the UK. While this sounds like a great leap forward for consumers, not everybody in the business is convinced that it’s a good idea.
For years, the UK has been a leader in mobile services. However, while the US, many other parts of Europe and Asia have had 4G speeds for a while, the ultra-fast speeds are still unavailable to UK consumers.
Everything Everywhere will deliver those 4G speeds, beginning on September 11th. 4G means faster downloads, less lag and a better overall mobile experience, allowing consumers to do more in less time. In an ideal world the speeds can reach up to 20mb per second, which is much faster than the internet speeds in many homes. However, in the real world, with all its interference and slow-connectivity spots, speeds will most likely fall short of this mark.
When it first becomes available, 4G speeds will most likely be the best in densely populated urban areas. Those living in outlying areas won’t see ultra-fast speeds immediately, but they will see a big improvement and speeds will be increasing rapidly.
4G – Devices and Pricing
Currently, no word on 4G devices, although it’s a lock that Everything Everywhere companies will be rolling out plenty of handsets in all price ranges to coincide with the launch of 4G speeds. Expect to pay a bit more, as with all new technology – but, following the same logic, look for reduced prices soon after.
4G – What Could Be Bad?
You’re probably wondering what could possibly be bad regarding faster 4G mobile internet speeds. After all, virtually every aspect of handset and tablet usage would be improved, from watching videos to gaming to simple Facebook messaging.
Other mobile giants, notably O2 and Vodafone, however, see a less than bright future. With Everything Everywhere getting a head start of several months, other companies will be scrambling to catch up. With only one parent company providing the newer, faster speeds, many in the industry fear that Everything Everywhere will have something close to a monopoly.
If you don’t have an Orange or T-Mobile 4G Smartphone, you’ll be out of the loop. Historically, monopolies have been bad for consumers, essentially making them slaves to a particular brand. Vodafone and O2 will certainly have 4G-capable handsets available as soon as they possibly can, limiting the slavery to just a few months, but it’s still a concern for many.
Author Darren Wall aka Prepay writes about different aspects of mobile phone technology from handsets, applications to the latest news and emerging technologies for the Pre Pay As You Go Blog