Europe already lagging behind USA in 4G connexions
The GSMA has responded vigorously to [UK comms watchdog] Ofcom’s proposal to increase annual UK licence fees for the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum bands in the UK. It argues that the proposals could seriously harm 4G roll out in the UK. GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer, Tom Phillips, commented, “The GSMA is concerned that Ofcom’s proposal to more than quadruple annual licence fees – from £24.8 million to £138.5 million for the 900MHz band and from £39.7 million to £170.4 million for the 1800MHz – will jeopardise mobile operators’ ability to upgrade their networks for 4G services in the UK.”
A recent report, ‘Mobile Wireless Performance in the EU and USA, has already found that Europe is lagging significantly behind the USA in terms of deployment of next-generation wireless infrastructure.
4G represented 19 per cent of USA connexions which compares to less than two per cent in the EU by Q1 2014.
Tom Phillips claims that improvement in 4G deployment can only be realised with long-term investment from the industry.
He adds, “Any lag in 4G roll-out could potentially put UK businesses at an international disadvantage and deny consumers access to the latest mobile services.”
GoMo News, however, feels that there should be one exception amongst the UK operators.
EE is using 1800MHz spectrum originally licensed for 2G to offer its 4G service. Maybe it should be paying extra for doing so?