UK mobile operator 3 UK has discussed the option of pooling its 800 MHz spectrum with that of rival operator EE, and also suggested it could launch commercial LTE services ahead of schedule this year.
BT could return to the mobile services market with a vengeance next year, after its CEO dropped the strongest hints yet about the future mobile plans of the former UK monopoly.
The UK may have been late to the LTE game, but the deployment of the technology is now advancing across the UK, with recent announcements from operators highlighting further progress in their rollouts of LTE networks.
BT has opened the bidding for a new mobile partner in a move that could see the UK's former telecoms monopoly back together with its former mobile unit, O2 UK, according to a report in the Financial Times .
EE intends to sign up more than 1 million subscribers to its LTE network by the end of this year, as the UK mobile operator makes the most of its diminishing lead on rival operators by also promising to double average LTE speeds to 20 Mbps.
3 UK, the UK's smallest mobile operator, said the quality of its 3G network will stop its data-hungry subscribers defecting to rival LTE services before it turns on its own 4G network. The operator expects to launch LTE toward the end of 2013.
UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has now published the round-by-round bids made by each operator in the recent LTE spectrum auction. This data provides a unique insight into elements of the bidders' auction strategies.
Executives with the three UK operators involved in mobile payments and marketing joint venture Weve used an appearance at a recent event in London to emphasise to retailers and brands the significance of their startegy. Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence said not signing up will be like "not signing the Beatles."
The trick in auction design is to encourage sufficient competition among bidders while also ensuring that there are adequate incentives for the operators and their financial backers to build out networks rapidly and on a widespread basis.
Following the UK's LTE spectrum auction, there are concerns that operators may need to trade spectrum as worries surface over how the airwave were distributed, according to a Financial Times report, which cited unnamed sources.