Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
18 Nov 2010
The UK's deployment of wide-scale LTE networks looks in even greater danger of lagging behind the European mainstream, as regulator Ofcom sets a likely timescale of 2014.
With the Nordic countries and Germany embarking on LTE roll-outs already, the UK - once tipped to be the first country in the region to release 4G spectrum in 2.6GHz - is lagging well behind.
Ofcom chief Ed Richards has outlined the proposed timetable for LTE, according to ISPreview.
Richards does not expect to complete the process of releasing LTE-suitable spectrum until the end of 2013, pointing to commercial networks from 2014 at the earliest.
Draft legislation put before the UK parliament by Ofcom sets out proposed timeframes for the release of “digital dividend” spectrum in the 800MHz band, and this is set to be auctioned simultaneously with the 2.6GHz licenses. Ofcom has also recently clarified its position on refarming GSM spectrum for 3G, and potentially 4G, offerings.
The 2.6GHz auctions have been repeatedly delayed by legal challenges, interference concerns and other problems. New JV Everything Everywhere only recently dropped its legal objection to the rules for refarming.
Yet even with those obstacles out of the way, the process will still be longwinded, according to the Ofcom roadmap.