Vodafone and Telefonica have laid out their arguments against EE's request to be allowed a monopoly on 4G telephony, and very damning they are too, but the public seems more supportive and Three's filing isn't public yet. Not that there's any doubt about where Three stands, the company told us it had filed a response with Ofcom …
"that HSPA+ is almost as good as LTE so it's not important"
Seems like an argument that can go both ways. If HSPA+ is similar enough why confuse the market with rather rare and non EU compatible 1800Mhz LTE hardware - mostly deployed only in Australia - just for a few months' sake?
Re: "that HSPA+ is almost as good as LTE so it's not important"
There is lots of 1800MHz LTE hardware being made available by manufacturers though: *they* think it is going to be an important band, as do I. 900MHz was used for the first group of GSM operators, and then 1800MHz for the second group. 900MHz has been widely refarmed for 3G, and 1800MHz is now getting lots of spare capacity as 2G is starting to wind down. There are vast numbers of countries outside the EU where this is so, and in a lot of them the operators don't face quite as excessive regulation of what they do with their spectrum as inside the EU.
Why is it., then, that I smell a massive rat in the works?
Well I, for one, did not know that Ofcom welcomed Anonymous Cowards comments. I shall move my future posts over there.
Did'nt Telefonica and O2 get free rain to implement 3g on their great for ibuilding 900 networks when the wording of their agreements was that it should of been handed back?
No, it's recently been declared that there is no drought. You possibly meant 'rein'.
"EE even got in touch with El Reg this afternoon"
Published 9:06am 24 May
Is the time machine El Reg's or Ee's? Is OFTIME aware of this time machine monopoly?
In Ireland Comreg is insisting on 5MHz allocations for LTE!
LTE in SAME spectrum actually isn't much better than HSPA+ unless the mast is heavily loaded. Then in 5MHz it is twice as fast! 250Kbps approx rather than 125kbps approx!
The only sensible solution *IS* a single RAN for each band, which is then wholesaled to each retail operator. That would typically double performance for many users.
Seriously, though, Ofcom and the operators are busy arguing and threatening one another about what is fair for them compared to what is fair for their competitors, and as a consequence nothing is happening. Consumers are getting short shrift because there are no LTE networks. Ofcom's job is to make sure consumers get a fair deal, is it not? It isn't happening now.
The strongest argument in favour of allowing EE to do this is that consumers will actually get 4G services to buy as quickly as possible. That's a strong argument.
The other operators should get their act together and let OFCOM proceed with the auction. If they keep delaying the auction with their objections then I think EE should be allowed to deploy LTE at 1800MHz, even if its to encourage the others to finally realise they've got to find an agreement to let the auction proceed so they aren't left behind.
The other operators will still blame OFCOM, but in reality it's their own darned fault.
Don't know much about telephony
... but I assume that all the excitement is about making the radio part of a mobile network faster.
My experience of EE suggests that this will make no difference. The bottleneck is their data network that appears to use wet string as a physical layer.
As a consumer i just see voda/3/o2 holding back the next gen technology!
They claim that they can't start building the 4G netwworks, but they could.
Frequency allocation(s) can be dealt with at a later date.
Stop holding back the tech and get on with it. Voda/3/O2 must stop crying like little girls, man up and pull their finger out. They must also stop trying to use any exuse they can think of to halt the roll out.
Let them build it!
I say let EE build their LTE network at 1800MHz.
Whilst this will definitely give them a competitive advantage of their rivals, I suggest this can mostly be mitigated against by mandating that they cannot have anything other than month by month rolling contracts for services provisioned over that network.
That way when the other operators do manage to get enough spectrum to deploy their own LTE networks, customers using EE's LTE network can jump ship immediately if they so wish as they won't be tied into long term contracts.
Although I am looking forward to having 4G there is one thing fundamentally wrong with the EE bid to refarm their 1800 Mhz spectrum for 4G use.
Before joining forces with Orange and becoming part of EE, T-mobile were the ones back in 2008 who started the barrage of legal threats which has culminated in the spectrum auction being delayed. Now I find it more than a tad galling that after doing so they will beome benefactors of the refarmed 1800 spectrum for use in 4g. They are a bunch of hypocrites and they should be made to pay for their earlier actions.
Has everyone forgotten about the consumer (inc Business) in all this? It's all very well the operators arguing their point but the UK is way behind the world in implementing 4G (surely the UK was at the cutting edge?). Let's get the full 4G auction underway too (sooner rather than later). This may bring a much needed boost to the economy
Remember the Consumer!
So let's say that the operators invest £2Billion in Spectrum fees to OfCom, and £2Billion in upgraded infrastructure, and then subsidise the more expensive LTE devices by £50 a time. With 80Million devices out there that's £100 per device of extra cost to the operators. If only 1/4 of the populace go for ut, then it's £250 per advanced user.
In this boost to the economy that you mention, how much extra are YOU willing to pay to be able to download quicker in a small number of places? ?
1 : try and remember what 4G actually is. 100bps download at high mobility [say a car / train] and 1Gbps low mobility [walking talking].
2 : True 4g is an all IP backbone.
3 : There are no 4g networks anywhere and it is recognised generally that it will be 2013 before there are any.
4 : the 5Mhz item is a bit of a red herring : you only *need* the 20mhz blocks if you are to provide the "up to 1Gbps" download speeds.
5 : When was the UK at the cutting edge of telecomms : suppliers are either Swedish, French, Finnish or Chinese. Marconi was the last UK supplier and they took the smorgesboord five or six years ago.
Conclusion : it will be a decade before anybody, anywhere in the world gets anywhere need there 4g specs [100bps / 1Gbps] so, in my very humble opinion, OfCom are pretty much spot on in taking the careful, do it properly approach.
Look at Scandinavia and 3g. They did a technology / beauty contest back in '99 and ended up with 3g pretty much everywhere, which is used. We did that stupid £20billion auction, which resulted in a slow roll out and the end result is faster Twitter.
Maybe take a step back, look at what 4g /could/ do, make some technical requirements of the NetOp's, [based on download / uplopad speed, capaicty and converage in town and out of town etc] divvy up the bandwidth properly and have in integrated approach to mobile…..
Sorry, that sounds like planning and this is Blighty. Would never happen.....