Fully 90 per cent of UK subscribers would not change from their current (non-LTE) service provider just for the promised benefits of higher downlink speeds from LTE, according to new research commissioned by Virgin Media Business.
AT&T is hunting for merger and acquisition opportunities in the European wireless market, according to a Wall Street Journal report, betting it can roll out LTE technology there faster and make more money from new pricing schemes. The report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said AT&T executives are debating the wisdom of such a move, but that the United Kingdom, Germany or the Netherlands might be potential markets to explore for a deal.
France Telecom (FT) CEO Stephane Richard said the company is considering an initial public offering of EE next year, adding that "many" private equity firms have expressed interest in buying part of the UK operator, which FT jointly owns with Deutsche Telekom, according to Bloomberg.
EE claims its LTE deployment will be the fastest rollout in UK history, with the aim of having 98 per cent of the UK's population covered with LTE by December 2014. However, from bitter experience I would contest these claims of high population coverage.
A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit questions the benefits being heaped on the deployment of LTE in the UK. The study, published on the day EE launched the first UK LTE service in 11 cities, claims that the sky-high expectations surrounding the technology's early returns may have been overstated.
Vodafone UK is spending £4.5 million on a high-profile advertising campaign touting the quality of its network ahead of EE's LTE launch this week.
EE will become first UK operator to launch its LTE service when it lights up its 1800 MHz network Oct. 30 with coverage in 10 UK cities. The company aims to cover 20 million people by Christmas.
The four major UK operators have formed a joint venture to accelerate the launch of LTE services by pushing for the removal of TV channels from the 800 MHz band.
UK operators agreed to avoid litigation over LTE deployments after regulator Ofcom brokered a "peace talks" between the carriers and intervened to accelerate the release of LTE spectrum by six months.
Virgin Media Business successfully completed LTE small cell trials in the UK cities of Newcastle and Bristol and the company plans to wholesale the service to UK operators.