iPhone 5 Is UK's First LTE Smartphone - LTE To Start From October 30
iPhone 5 - UK's First LTE Smartphone
Recent developments indicate that UK consumers may be able to use LTE much sooner than anticipated, and the iPhone 5 will be one of the only LTE phones available in the UK when LTE goes live later this month.
The United Kingdom is a bit behind other countries when it comes to updating its communications infrastructure. The upgrade to LTE has been hampered in the UK due to a combination dithering politicians and regulatory bodies, but recently with the announcement of the new network EE, development has started to pick up pace.
LTE could not be introduced into the UK earlier because all of the existing radio spectrum was already in use. With the demise of analogue TV the government announced plans to auction the newly available chunks of radio spectrum to the UK networks, but has been very slow in getting the auction organised.
Everything Everywhere, which is the partnership between two major UK networks, Orange and T-Mobile, already had some of its existing radio spectrum which was not being used, and was granted permission by the regulatory body Ofcom to start offering LTE prior to the official 4G auction.
This move means that the UK has gone from barely a glimpse of 4G on the horizon to most likely having LTE services available within a month.
Auction to be Brought Forward
The advantage that EE has gained in setting up its LTE networks early has angered its leading competitors, who have forced the government to introduce the auction much sooner. If current talks are effective, EE's main competitors could also be offering LTE by the end of 2012.
But because for a long time LTE has seemed like a far-off fantasy, there are currently few handsets in the UK that offer LTE compatibility. Earlier LTE phones, like the Motorola Atrix and the Samsung Galaxy S3, had their LTE support removed when they were released in Britain.
iPhone 5 Currently Offers LTE
Because of this, the new iPhone's timely launch just before EE begins to offer LTE means that it could be the first phone in the UK to enjoy 4G download speeds. EE will offer a small number of other devices, from HTC and Nokia, as well as a re-released Galaxy S3, but many existing Orange and T-Mobile iPhone 5 owners will be able to switch over to EE on the day it goes live rather than having to wait for a new phone to be delivered.
EE will start to offer LTE at the end of October while other networks are yet to confirm when their 4G services will become available.
Simon writes for UK comparison website Best-Mobile-Contracts
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