Although Ofcom’s 4G spectrum auctions have been delayed, the first 4G network in the UK was launched in London this week.

It is claimed that this is the world’s first TD-LTE network in the 3.5-GHz spectrum based in the UK.  The first place to have this spectrum band is the Southwark area of London, where the network operator, UK Broadband (UKB), will be offer 4G on a wholesale model, with an aim of “announcing a city build in a couple of weeks” according to Nicholas James, CEO of UKB, who are operating the network.

The commercial launch of the network will be 1st May 2012, the network operator  plans to offer a home hub-type of broadband access point. The service will be targeted at solutions where there is demand for faster wireless/mobile data capacity. A mobile device with a portable Wifi hotspot is due to follow in September 2012.

It is anticipated that, if successful, the network could be opened up to major UK mobile operators to form a roaming partnership to provide service to areas where there is no TD-LTE coverage.

Ofcom has been stalling on the auction of their part of the 4G spectrum since it was announced that it would be introduced early this year, so it is good for the UK market to see the technology already in place, allowing Londoners to use internet services such as VoIP or cloud email, quickly and efficiently, when they are out of the office.

(Image by tjuel)


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