O2 speeding up 4G rollout
14 Sep 2012
Looking to 'bring the current time line forward'
The news that EE is offering the iPhone 5 has almost certainly antagonised the networks, which will now feel under pressure to do something in response. For O2, it seems to be a faster rollout of its own network.
Speaking to the BBC, O2 has confirmed that it is 'in discussions' to speed up the 4G rollout. An O2 spokeswoman said it was wanted the network up and running 'as quickly as possible, adding that 'we are pushing hard of behalf of out customers.'
'We are hopeful we can come to some agreement to bring the current time line forward.'
The problem right now is that both O2 and Vodafone have to wait for an auction of the spectrum in spring 2013. However, according to Matthew Howett, an analyst with research firm Ovum, Apple doesn't believe the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands up for auction are 'developed enough', which is why, as we mentioned earlier, the current iPhone 5 doesn't play well with it.
EE has the 4G iPhone 5 and with it, the network could gain a significant advantage over its competitors. The networks could launch legal action to stop it, but are more likely to push Ofcom to speed up the auction for 4G. It sounds like that is already happening judging by the statements above, so don't be surprised to see an announcement about this before the turn of the year.
When it does launch, O2 plans to offer LTE-enabled handsets from the likes of Samsung and Nokia. An iPhone? That would depend on Apple building a network-specific model as things stand.