Broadband News

LTE could become available on 900/1800MHz by end of 2011

LTE (Long Term Evolution), the next generation of mobile technology, could be available in the UK sooner than we thought following a decision by the European Commission to open up existing airwaves used for 2G and 3G devices, making them available for use by LTE devices. The EC decision states that the 900 and 1800 MHz spectrum must allow use of these frequencies for LTE devices by the end of 2011. This comes as part of their harmonisation plans to allow EU wide roaming for these kinds of devices.

"This Decision opens the way for the latest 4G mobile devices to gain access to the radio spectrum they need to operate, and so further stimulate high-speed broadband services and foster more competition."

Neelie Kroes

This will potentially make LTE services available in the UK from the end of the year if Ofcom stick to the EC decision, and adjust national spectrum policy to allow the use of these frequencies by LTE. This date is unlikely to be met though. Ofcom previously opened up the 900MHz 2G frequencies for 3G use in January this year, 15 months after the EC decision to allow this, which required Ofcom to implement the decision within 6 months.

Currently, Ofcom are working to allow LTE from the beginning of 2013, but with restricted use as the 800MHz spectrum will still be used by digital terrestrial TV at that point. LTE spectrum auctions are expected to go ahead in early 2012.


I really hate Ofcom.

  • otester
  • over 9 years ago

OFCOM are utterly useless and their promotion of competition at all costs is damaging to the service than many consumers receieve, but if OFCOM do allow LTE over the existing frequencies that could be a large step towards speeding up the delayed 4G roll-out in this country.

  • Matchstick
  • over 9 years ago

Use the spectrum! It's there to be used!

  • krazykizza
  • over 9 years ago

What about 2100MHz? Three must really hate Ofcom now. No 2G freq and now LTE possibly going to be allowed on frequencies they don't have.

  • timmay
  • over 9 years ago


2100Mhz is currently used for 3G, it will be like the transition from 2G to 3G, not instant.

Three will be able to auction for 4G space along with the rest...

  • otester
  • over 9 years ago

Hopefully the UK networks won't do what America is doing with LTE/Wimax and marketing 3G as "4G".

  • roph
  • over 9 years ago

Small editorial point, John. Would it not be a good idea to explain what LTE is? We're not all IT geeks.

  • nstrudwick
  • over 9 years ago

I second remarks made by nstrudwick! NEVER use a abbreviation until you have used the proper word.

  • hamsden
  • over 9 years ago

@nstrudwick: Indeed, oversight on my part. I usually do, but appear to have forgotten on this occasion. Thanks

  • john
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 9 years ago



  • otester
  • over 9 years ago

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