back to article Everything Everywhere flogs 4G hand-me-downs to Three

Everything Everywhere has flogged its excess 1800MHz radio spectrum to rival mobile operator Three with one rather important condition. The sale briefly raised the possibility of the UK having competing 4G networks this year until EE crushed that dream by failing to relinquish the bands until September 2013. The European …

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Pint

Sharing

Why can't we have one company operating the masts, who then lease usage back to the operators?

A little bit how TV transmission works, is what I'm thinking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sharing

What a brilliant idea! Then everyone can pay £145 per year to the government for a colour screen phone or £25 for a monochrome one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sharing

@AC: That includes ad-free BBC channels as well as paying for things like iPlayer, so it's not a bad deal.

The Olympics coverage alone was superb compared to the crap those elsewhere got.

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Bronze badge

Re: Sharing

Yep. I actually think £145 a year for the Beeb is a bargain!

Imagine if 1 and 2 were just full of Peter Andre documentaries and X Factor.

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Thumb Up

Re: Sharing

And while you're at it do the same with broadband. Gov fully pays up front for fibre network and charges operators for access. Shame Govs have already spent all the money though.

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Silver badge

Re: £145 a year for the Beeb is a bargain!

You want it, you pay it. And mine, too.

Only on El Reg could you turn a thread about mobile spectrum into an argument about the TV tax.

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Re: £145 a year for the Beeb is a bargain!

nationalised telephony, now that sounds like a plan.

We could call it United Kingdom Telecoms. That would work! Hey the same could be done for the rail network too, United Kingdom Rail sounds good. Whilst we are at it, why not electricity and gas!

Shame it was all sold off for peanuts.

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HMB

Re: Sharing

You're honestly suggesting deliberately imposing a monopoly layer on a working mobile telecoms market??

Go away and read a GCSE economics text book, if that doesn't put you off, go chat to nurses/support staff in the NHS about their middle managers.

I'm honestly concerned that there are people who genuinely think this is a good idea in reality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sharing

you must have been watching something different to the crap i tried not to see much of,did you watch any swimming,could you actualy tell in race who was in which lane ? the wonderful bbc threw several hundred millions pounds at cash cow olympics,i reckon a group of tech students could have done better,morons at the bbc dont appear to understand modern kit and its capability,but then this is company that seemed to forget that overhead cameras cannot work through heat haze and thick smoke,was highlight of coverage when director had heart attack when big rings let off,they go to overhead shot they had planned for months and then had to go to wobbly ground camera shot.

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Headmaster

Re: Sharing

You need to get your eyes tested/TV fixed. Overhead cameras all fine for me, thanks very much.

Oh and learn to breathe or put some full stops in. And some capitals would help.

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Coat

It's a numbers game

"... a "forth player", for which we can read "Three", is guaranteed to come out of the auction .."

Are we sure that Three will come forth?

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Trollface

Re: It's a numbers game

One worries two much; Three shall come forth, after all, they want to own more than a fifth of the spectrum.

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Coat

Re: It's a numbers game

More to the point, are Three really players in the Forth coding market?

I'd be surprised if they came in the top three - or even fourth....

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Anonymous Coward

1800Mhz handsets

I think El Reg needs to update that list, the Germans already have the triband HTC One XL running on 800/1800/2600 LTE since last month and I think the Samsung S3 LTE is not far behind.

Most of Europe is actually quickly opening up to LTE 1800Mhz now - as well as taking over in the APAC region - so clearly an LTE iPhone will take this into consideration.

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Re: 1800Mhz handsets

The Samsung S2 LTE was 800/1800/2600, although it used an old chipset and probably delivered 20 minutes of battery life.

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s_ii_lte-4124.php

Samsung in Australia have said that a Galaxy S3 compatible with the 1800MHz LTE networks in that country is coming very soon, and the model number is on their website (GT-I9303T).

1800MHz is rapidly becoming one of the most important bands for LTE, if it is not already. This is a big coup for EE, and it is an even bigger one if there is a compatible iPhone coming in three weeks. "We have high end 4G smartphones running on LTE from Apple, Samsung, and HTC, and none of our competitors will have them for about another year". I can understand why the competitors would be upset.

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1800MHz LTE deployments are rather more common than the author of this piece implies, I think. Playing with this map is quite useful.

http://4g-map.info/

1800MHz is useful in a lot of places for precisely the reason the EE has found it useful: operators typically already own it, and the demand for 2G GSM services is dropping so spectrum is becoming available. (In Australia, a lot of 1800MHz spectrum got auctioned off a decade ago and was never used because there was not need for that much capacity - but it is being used for LTE now).

2600MHz on the other hand requires new allocations, and 800MHz requires new allocations and the spectrum being cleared.

There are a few phones that support 1800MHz LTE. The international LTE variant of the Samsung Galaxy S2 did, and a compatible Galaxy S3 (GT-I9303T) has been announced in Australia, although it hasn't been released yet. It wouldn't surprise me much if Apple does release a variant of the new iPhone that does support it on September 12. The current iPad only works on LTE networks in the US. They surely want to offer international LTE variants of their devices as soon as possible though. The coincidence of dates (September 11 for the LTE network and September 12 for the iPhone announcement might not be a coincidence, perhaps

There certainly are a few

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Joke

Three

"Three is not known for keeping to itself at the best of times"

Three users certainly are... HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? beeeeep.

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Re: Three

well im a three user and it is fantastic up here in cumbria. HSDPA+ is faster than the broadband offering which is saying something. All you can eat + tether (well hotspot) is well worth its money. If they can get 4G up and running up here then i'll buy it if only for tethering purposes.

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HMB

Re: Three

I take it you're not on Three now then?

I've had better reception / speed off Three than any other operator and I've tried them all bar O2.

They had issues a few years ago, but that no longer seems to be the case. I don't get drop outs on Three, I did on Vodafone, go figure.

Their data network does seem to be substantially superior to any other network I've tried.

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Re: Three

Same here, ne Essex, switched from O2 to three and can't remember the last time I wasn't connected at 3G, O2 and my work voda are almost always on a 2/2.5g network.

As for dropouts, et al yes they happen, but no more than the others.

Plus, more mins, text, data and free tethering, it's daft to use anyone else!

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Re: Three @batfastard

Most peoples perceptions on their mobile operator come from how it performs at their house. Personally I am on 3 and it's fantastic where I live but when I visit my sister the only operator that gets anywhere near a decent signal to the house is O2 - Imagine what I'd be saying if I were on 3 / Voda / EE and living there.

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Re: Three

Speak for your own bit of Cumbria please Danny 14 - I used to have a 3 phone until the site share they had ended, and was told that "it's ok, I see by looking at the coverage maps, if you just move 4 miles to your left, you get good coverage" (this is a direct quote from the call centre. Even the shop staff (whose phone I had to use) laughed at this). We get crap coverage from 3 in the rural west. YMMV - if I go to Carlisle, or even Workington, it's OK, Whitehaven's a bit meh.

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Hypocrites and liars

So EE "argued that the lack of 4G was damaging the UK economy and fast deployment was essential for the country". What they really meant was "we want a minimum 12 month monopoly to damage competition, and fast deployment is great but only if it is limited to us". They could just sell the spectrum to Three and compete, except they are obviously scared of competition.

Seriously, where is the EU or the CC when you need them?

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FAIL

Re: Hypocrites and liars

Totally agree with you. We need the EU to get involved - as it stands, we're about 1-2 years behind other First World countries in rolling out 4G. At least if we get the EU involved we can push it to half a decade behind.

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meh

Given both parties already have an agreement to share masts infrastructure to improve their existing 3g network, for both sets of customers, I really can't see EE making Three wait till September next year. If anything they will continue to pool their resources to deliver a good 4g network.

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FAIL

3G doesn't work reliably. Coverage is patchy on all networks, and data rates when you supposedly do have a signal are far too often zero. Handover between the technologies fails frequently. The kicker is, use a 2G phone and mobile phones are suddenly a reliable technology again (aside from on Three of course). Why are we at all hopeful that 4G is going to be any better?

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