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UK mobile carriers need 4G offload strategy

  • Posted by Michael Carroll
  • August 30, 2012 9:32 AM BST
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Progress towards commercial 4G services in the UK is clearly a good thing, however Lee Myall, UK director at fiber operator Interoute, believes the new technology won't be sufficient to handle surging data usage caused by the new technology.

Myall has commented on the situation in the country following news that Three UK has hired Samsung to deploy 4G RAN and 3G/4G core infrastructure - a deal that is the South Korean firms first commercial mobile network deal in Europe.

The Interoute director believes the new mobile technology will already be on the back foot if mobile operators don't consider a viable offload strategy such as Wi-Fi - a technology he believes will be "the key to taking the pressure off 4G."

I'm not sure if Wi-Fi is necessarily the best option - the only option, perhaps -, but Myall's view is interesting given most carriers would have us believe 4G is the be-all and end-all.

It is also interesting to read Three UK's take on 4G. Chief executive Dave Dyson reckons the Samsung network will be ready to trial by the year end, and that the operator could launch commercial services early 2013. What intrigues me is whether the carrier is clear to use the two 15-MHz blocks of 1800-MHz spectrum it acquired from Everything Everywhere a fortnight ago. The latter was required to sell the blocks to gain approval from Ofcom to launch 4G on refarmed 1800-MHz, so I wonder if that decision also covers the Three UK spectrum?

Dyson certainly hints as much, stating that consumers will enjoy greater benefits from the new 4G network "as we deploy new spectrum."

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