UK to split broadband pot among 10 cities

Ten UK cities have been allocated a share of a £114m (US$185 million) government investment to deploy city-wide broadband networks. London will receive the largest share, £25m, while Leeds and Bradford will share £14.4m. Belfast will receive £13.7m and Manchester £12m.

Vodafone, O2 could launch LTE in 900MHz band

UK regulator Ofcom has said that there is nothing stopping EE’s rivals, such as Vodafone and O2, from putting in an application to alter their 900MHz spectrum licence for LTE usage. A ruling in early 2011 meant that all operators are now free to use their 2G spectrum for 3G services, so extension of that same ruling to encompass 4G would be a small amend.

Huawei is EE’s LTE supplier

Chinese equipment vendor Huawei has been identified as the sole supplier of LTE base stations for EE’s network in the UK. The revelation gives context to the firm’s decision to make a £1.3bn R&D investment in the country.

Huawei pledges £1.3bn investment in the UK

Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei has pledged to invest £1.3bn ($2bn) in the UK, and create 700 more jobs in the country by 2017. The firm, which already employs over 800 people in the UK, said that it will invest £650m in a number of “global centres of technical and financial excellence”, as well as a further £650m in procurement on products and services.

Vodafone seethes as Ofcom clears UK LTE1800 launch

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.

Everything Everywhere cleared to launch LTE1800

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.

UK passes 2m super-fast broadband lines in service

The UK had passed the major milestone of 2mn active subscriptions to super-fast broadband services by the beginning of June, meaning that 10% of the country’s broadband lines are now capable of delivering speeds over 25 Mbps, according to a new report from UK research firm Point Topic.

UK government’s broadband strategy attacked by Lords’ report

The UK government is taking the wrong approach to delivering broadband across the UK, according to a report from a House of Lords committee. The report from the Select Committee on Communications claims that the governments current approach favours speed over coverage, and runs the risk that large parts of the UK run the will be left with inadequate connectivity.

Delayed arrival of 4G in UK puts nation light years behind

The UK is already seen as Europe’s most complex and fragmented telecoms market and it now looks set to add another unwanted title to its repertoire as that of Europe’s 4G laggard. Europe’s telecoms markets are already dividing into two camps of 4G “haves” and “have-nots” and the UK lies firmly stuck in the latter. The auction proposal set out this week by Ofcom means that the UK will not see 4G LTE services go live until later in 2013 at the earliest, putting UK mobile consumers almost four years behind the world’s leading 4G markets.

UK operators split over net neutrality code of practice

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 voice in decline but SMS stays strong in the face of OTT competition

Telecom revenues in the UK market declined in 2011 for the third consecutive year, although mobile retail revenues rose for the first time since 2008. And, while 44 per cent of British adults have now embraced over the top messaging services such as WhatsApp and the messaging applications within social networking services, SMS remains the most popular form of communication for mobile users in the UK. These are some of the headline findings from UK regulator Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2012.

O2 UK: “We will run out of spectrum by 2014”

Mobile operator O2 UK has revealed that it expects to run out of spectrum on its macro cell layer around 2014. Speaking at a round table briefing hosted by the Small Cells Forum, Telefonica UK’s chief radio engineer Robert Joyce said that, “As we see it, with the increasing demand from tablets and smartphones the macro cell will not be able to cope. We can take the macro cell grid to eight times its current capacity and then we’ll run out of spectrum.”

UK Government has “lost the plot” over LTE

The UK Government’s decision not to facilitate the deployment of LTE until 2013 at the earliest is “appalling” and has forced the UK to surrender its position as one of the leading communication markets in the world. This is the judgement of a C-level executive from one of the UK network operators, who asked not to be named.

Apple fined in Australia over 4G iPad claims

Apple has been fined AU$2 million for deliberately misleading Australian consumers over the 4G status of its third-gen iPad. Action was brought against the tablet manufacturer by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after Australian consumers complained that they had bought the device on the understanding that it was compatible with Telstra’s LTE networks, only later to discover that it was not.

Vodafone off the hook for massive tax bill

UK operator Vodafone will get to keep almost £4.8bn that is under dispute in a controversial tax case that has been running since 2010. The UK National Audit Office this week ruled that pursuing Vodafone through the courts ran the risk of loss, and that the UK tax authorities were best advised to settle with Vodafone for £1.25bn.

Vodafone, O2 extend UK net share across 2G, 3G & 4G

UK mobile operators Telefónica and Vodafone on Thursday agreed to extend their existing network sharing deal to create one single national grid providing 2G, 3G and eventually 4G services to 98 per cent of the UK population.

Russia escapes broadband crunch as others falter

While many markets around the world have seen lower than expected growth over the past three years in terms of broadband adoption, Russia has bucked the trend by posting big growth figures, according to UK research firm Point Topic.

Will London 2012 be the first data roaming mega event?

At the recent Roaming World Congress hosted by IIR an animated panel session highlighted a number of challenges and opportunities imminent in the forthcoming London Olympics. These Olympics have been heralded as a major opportunity for medals to be won and sport to be celebrated but there are also a number of reasons to celebrate the games as a major driver for mobile roaming.

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