UK to get Faster, Cheaper 4G Data

Following a decision to free up more spectrum, Ofcom says mobile phone users in the UK can expect their 4G data bills to drop in the future.

The telecoms regulator has ruled that frequencies currently reserved for digital TV transmissions and wireless microphones should switch over to mobile broadband. It said the change should happen between 2020 and 2022.

Mark Newman, chief research officer at Ovum's telecoms research business said: "It's significant for people in remote and rural areas because, despite the best efforts of government to get operators to deliver fixed broadband into those areas, the fact is there are still some places that are not going to be reached by 2022, and this will help."

"And because the 700MHz frequency band is better able to pass through walls and other objects than higher frequencies it will also be useful in built-up areas.

"London, in particular, is internationally known to have pretty bad mobile broadband coverage within buildings. So, certainly this will help networks in situations they have traditionally had problems."

Ofcom said it expects network providers to cut their bills following the increase in capacity.

A spokesman added: "Millions of consumers could benefit from lower mobile tariffs than would otherwise be offered, because we expect a significant proportion of the network cost savings to be passed through to them.

"Specifically, these include network cost savings from deploying fewer base stations and improvements in mobile performance in hard-to-serve locations."

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