The CEO of Everything Everywhere Olaf Swantee is hassling the U.K. regulator Ofcom to release the 1800MHz band for LTE services, or risk seeing the country fall further behind other nations.
Swantee told Reuters that EE will be ready to start deploying LTE using the 1800MHz spectrum by year-end, but only if Ofcom will sanction the use of this band for a purpose other than the one for which it was granted.
Swantee told Mobile News it was "critical" that Ofcom approve the liberalisation of the 1800MHz band and fix a date for a spectrum auction as soon as possible.
The company is hopeful Ofcom will give EE approval to use the 1800MHz band by April or May, allowing EE to keep on schedule with the new network which is already being tested in rural Cornwall using the 800MHz spectrum.
To encourage Ofcom to release the spectrum, Swantee said EE is planning to start the U.K.'s first LTE trials using 1800 MHz in the western English city of Bristol this April.
"We expect a small-scale commercial launch with a focus on mobile broadband, initially. We'll further expand in 2013 as more devices become available," the EE CEO told Reuters at a briefing.
While EE lobbies Ofcom on the LTE issue, the company says it will be investing further in its HSPA+ network following the approval of a £1.5 billion network evolution project. This move, according to a Telegeography report, will see HSPA+ coverage expanded beyond the 60 per cent achieved today.
The company added that it is planning trials of Dual Carrier HSPA+, which is capable of downlink speeds up to 42Mbps. That trial will begin in the second-quarter of this year, with commercial services beginning in the last quarter of 2012.
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