Today, Ofcom approved Everything Everywhere’s application to use its existing 1800MHz spectrum for 4G services, making it the first operator in the UK to have permission to roll out LTE networks. This suggests that the company, which is a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile, will be the only UK operator to offer a 4G version of the iPhone 5 if it launches in September as predicted.
uSwitch analyst Ernest Doku believes that Apple will use the approval of 4G in the UK to ‘future proof’ its sixth-generation iPhone, reports T3.
“Releasing a 4G-ready phone is very much at the forefront of [Apple’s] mind,” Doku said. “Any manufacturer, particularly one that releases one phone each year, would want their product to be relatively future proof – there must be an element of foresight on Apple’s front.”
Everything Everywhere will be able to offer 4G to its UK customers from 11 September, ten days before the expected launch of the iPhone 5, but rival network operators will have to wait for the UK’s 4G auction, which is scheduled to begin before the end of 2012.
O2, Vodafone and Three have hit out at Ofcom’s decision to allow Everything Everywhere to roll out 4G networks early.
Last week, reports indicated that Apple is in talks with Korean mobile providers to make the iPhone 5 compatible with 4G LTE networks in the country.
Apple was forced to rename its new iPad, scrapping the ‘4G’ in favour of ‘Cellular’ following accusations in the UK and Australia that the company had been misleading customers about the tablet’s capabilities, as LTE networks were only available in the US and Canada.