Latest Mobile Phone News
Pulling together for the launch of the UK's first 4G services
The Big Four companies have formed a joint venture, MitCo, to ensure there are no more hold-ups as they roll out the superfast services, which will allow people to download information over their mobiles up to 10 times faster than they can at the moment.
They have also agreed not to sue over a rule change by telecoms regulator Ofcom, which effectively gives EE, Britain's biggest mobile operator which runs Orange and T-Mobile, a six-month head start on rolling out 4G.
It marks a dramatic shift in behaviour for the telecoms industry, whose major players have spent the past two years threatening legal action over the 4G auction if it didn’t appear to be going their way.
In that time, the UK has gone from being one of the most advanced mobile markets in the world, to a laggard whose mobile services pale in comparison to those in most of the rest of Europe.
Sources close to the process have characterised the mobile operators as badly behaved children who needed their heads banging together.
However, Ofcom and Culture Secretary Maria Miller appear to have done just that. The threat that EE will be able to get a head start on launching 4G services has frightened the rest of the operators into action.
Earlier this month, they agreed to set aside their differences if the Government agreed to speed up the auction of its airwaves and ensure they were cleared sooner than expected.
The prices for the new service will be announced next Tuesday and will have a major bearing on how many new customers they can win from rivals during its six-month head start.
Separately, both EE and all the mobile operators could be forced to stop imposing price rises on their customers mid-way through contracts.
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