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UK mobile networks agree to speed up 4G timetable
The UK's largest mobile operators have agreed to put aside their differences and speed up the planned auction process for the broader launch of 4G superfast mobile internet services in Britain.At a meeting yesterday brokered by culture secretary Maria Miller, the likes of O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere reached a deal with Ofcom to introduce 4G mobile internet and broadband by spring 2013, six months earlier than planned.
After the meeting, Miller welcomed the deal between the mobile operators, which will provide internet speeds on smartphones and tablets up to 10 times faster than current 3G, and also bring around £3bn to the UK economy.
"Delivering 4G quickly is a key part of our economic growth strategy. I am grateful to the mobile operators for their co-operation in bringing forward vital 4G services," said Miller.
"By speeding up the delivery of 4G in the UK, the government is creating enormous opportunities. It is up to the operators to now deliver the services that businesses and consumers expect and we are confident they will succeed."
Ofcom also welcomed the "significant progress" made in the delivery of a "competitive" market for 4G mobile services across the UK.
The agreement means that the Ofcom-administered 4G spectrum auction process will begin at the end of the year, and the regulator feels that the winners will be able to start rolling out their services "during the first half of 2013".
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