4G Offering May Boost Jobs
The rollout of 4G services could increase GDP by £75bn by the end of the decade, concludes research by operator Everything Everywhere.
Everything Everywhere plans to be the first operator to rollout 4G services – it has made an application to Ofcom to refarm its 1800Mhz spectrum. Its new website offers information on 4G services for individuals and organisations at 4Gbritain.org. Three, Vodafone and O2 have all objected to the operator’s bid to roll out a 4G offering before the upcoming 4G auction.
Everything Everywhere’s research, which was carried out by Capital Economics, claims that the implementation of 4G services could result in £5.5bn of direct private investing in the UK economy by 2015, offer superfast broadband to 10 million or more people who at present have no fixed line service, as well as protect or create 125,000 jobs.
Capital Economics’ Mark Pragnell said that the introduction of 4G mobile broadband ‘will create substantial long-term benefits for the economy and consumers, ultimately boosting UK GDP by as much as half a percentage point’.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of Everything Everywhere, said that the research highlighted the major social and economic benefits that the introduction of 4G services could bring to the UK – something already on offer in more than 30 countries worldwide. ‘The UK has the highest levels of smartphone penetration and mobile commerce in Europe, and Britons deserve to have the best infrastructure in place to support this growth,’ he added.
Organisations that appear on the 4G Britain website include Virgin Mobile, Huawei, and the Countryside Alliance.
Ovum analyst Mathew Howett said that for users to get the full benefit of 4G services, there needs to be competition between the operators. He added that it was possible for Ofcom to insist on a wholesale access obligation on the refarmed spectrum, which would in turn let other operators offer 4G services. It would also be possible for competitors to purchase the 1800MHz spectrum that Everything Everywhere must get rid of as part of the merger deal of Orange and T-Mobile.
Howett added that no other operators hold enough 1800MHz spectrum to launch 4G in any meaningful way.
He also said that unless Ofcom made some substantial changes to the current proposals for the auction, legal action seemed highly likely, and could send the whole process back to square one. ‘ Only a direction from the