The Verge is reporting that today’s a big day in the UK mobile market. The UK regulator of telecommunications, Ofcom, granted approval for carrier Everything Everywhere to roll out 4G LTE service in the UK on its 1800 MHz spectrum before the official 4G auction that is expected next year.
Everything Everywhere is a joint venture of T-Mobile and Orange, and they’re now free to offer LTE to UK customers beginning on September 11. While competitors Vodafone, O2 and Three are not very happy about this, there’s a possible scenario that probably scares the heck out of those three carriers: what if Apple announces the next generation iPhone on September 12 as planned, and it supports 1800 MHz LTE? That would give Everything Everywhere an exclusive lock on LTE iPhone service in the UK.
For the rest of the carriers, there’s a wait until early 2013 for the spectrum auction to happen, with actual implementation by the others expected no earlier than the third quarter of 2013. Does that give Everything Everywhere an unfair advantage? In the opinion of Ofcom, EE would have an advantage, but it’s better to have some sort of 4G service in the UK as soon as possible.
An 1800 MHz LTE iPhone would, however, give Everything Everywhere a killer advantage for at least a year. September 11 and 12, should be very interesting days in the UK for fans of 4G and iPhones.