UK 4G launch delayed

Ofcom says 'legal and technical' issues to blame

UK set to get left behind as 4G takes off around the globe.

The launch of 4G networks in the UK faces serious delay, with the regulator Ofcom saying that plans to auction off the spectrum in the first half of 2012 are “ambitious”. Ofcom has warned it won’t be possible to roll out 4G on these shores until “2013 at the earliest”.

Pushing back the auction until later next year will put the UK on the back foot as it looks to create Europe’s fastest data and broadband networks. Not only that, other countries will get access to slick new 4G handsets well before we do. This is already happening with LTE phones in the US.

The delay is down to legal squabbles between mobile networks, as well as difficulty in working out how the spectrum can be sold off while some of it is being used already by services such as Freeview.

Whatever happens, the chances of us Brits packing a LTE device in the next two years are extremely slim. Gutted? Tell us what you think Ofcom and the government should do to hurry things along on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Via FT