EE chief’s uphill task to persuade phone makers over Britain’s 4G

Network goes live next week – but only just

Smartphone users benefiting from EE‘s new 4G network in Britain will have the personal intervention of the firm’s CEO to thank, it’s been revealed. With just a week to go before EE’s super-fast network is officially launched, City AM reports how Olaf Swantee – boss of EE and its subsidiary brands Orange and T-Mobile – spent months persuading phone manufacturers to design devices that would run on the operator’s 1800 MHz frequency. The network will also be the only 4G network to work with Apple’s best-selling iPhone 5.Swantee is quoted as revealing, “We started talking to Samsung, Apple and others over a year ago.

We asked them, ‘Are you going to be supportive and if not, we’ll use someone else.’ ”

Swantee claimed that without his intervention, smartphone manufacturers would have by-passed the UK altogether when EE’s 4G operation goes live next Tuesday, the first in the country to do so.

Its service, details of which have been announced ltoday [23rd October 2012] (see here), will be the first to market after the company won permission from Britain’s regulator Ofcom to redeploy existing spectrum.

It has given EE a head start over rivals such as Vodafone and O2 who threatened litigation if Ofcom didn’t speed up the bidding process for 4G bands in pre-approved 800 MHz spectrum.

Although Ofcom capitulated to the demands, it will still take until June 2013 before these rival 4G services are up and running.

Meanwhile EE has a clear field with its 4G tariffs starting at £36 a month for unlimited texts and calls, rising up to £56 for higher mobile data allowances.

On average prices are £5 a month more than for similar allowances on slower 3G networks.

EE will also be the first to sell superfast home broadband in Britain.

About Dave Evans

Dave Evans is a long established commentator on both the IT and cellular industries. His current focus is on share price trends within the sector. You can email him here
This article was published in 4G, Apple, EE, Samsung, Vodafone, mobile news, o2, orange, t-mobile and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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