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4G coming in 2012

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4G heading to the UK

Super-fast 4G broadband could soon become a reality for millions of UK mobile users.

Everything Everywhere, the country’s largest communications network, has asked Ofcom for permission to launch a 4G network before the end of 2012. If given approval, it would be able to offer its 27 million mobile customers faster speeds than most existing home broadband connections.

To understand how 4G could work in urban and suburban environments, the company has also announced that a new 4G trial will be taking place in Bristol in April. This complements a trial of 4G in rural environments, which has been running in Cornwall since September 2011.

Upgrade to 3.5G

Meanwhile, Everything Everywhere has revealed that efforts to upgrade its existing 3G network are progressing. Approximately 60 per cent of its customers can now receive 3.5G – which offers 50 per cent faster download speeds than 3G – and the remainder will gain access by the end of the third quarter of 2012.

Olaf Swantee, chief executive officer at Everything Everywhere, said: “Everything Everywhere’s vision is to launch 4G for Britain as soon as possible, and the roll out of 3.5G HSPA+ and our 4G trials across Britain are major steps towards delivering on that promise.”

The news could have a significant impact on mobile web design. Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, explained: “At present, mobile sites are limited by the relatively low data transfer speeds that people currently have on their smartphones and tablets. All that could change when 4G arrives since consumers may start to expect high-quality downloads and HD video streams from sites that they visit on the move.”

Written by Richard Frost

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