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Virgin Media Expects to Offer 4G Mobile Broadband via EE’s UK Network

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 (7:35 am) - Score 1,473

The Director of Virgin Media’s mobile division, Jamie Heywood, has confirmed that the operator is talking to EE (Everything Everywhere) about extending its existing Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) contract to include the forthcoming launch of superfast 4G (LTE) based Mobile Broadband technology.

EE hopes to launch its new 4G network, which will use their existing 1800MHz radio spectrum band, before the end of 2012 (full details). Meanwhile rivals (i.e. O2 and Vodafone) are attempting to delay their efforts until 2013 in order to create a more level playing field and allay competition concerns (here).

According to Mobile Today, Virgin isn’t just talking with EE about future service provision and Heywood hinted that they were also “looking at ways we can improve the quality of our service and the degree to which other operators merit that discussion“. It would of course be quite normal for such discussions to take place.

It’s separately known that Virgin Media has also conducted a London (Oxford Street) based trial of 4G technology using the still-to-be-auctioned 2.6GHz spectrum band (here), which won’t be available until the end of 2013. Part of this involved using the related network to improve indoor mobile coverage and ease data congestion by offering LTE/4G based femtocell devices to consumers.

At this stage it’s all just speculation but nobody would be surprised if Virgin Media did launch some form of 4G service via EE’s network. However EE are unlikely to let them launch 4G at exactly the same time as that would risk stealing attention away from their “new” brand and service.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Kyle says:

    If EE did allow this, which I don’t believe they would, it would detract massively from the fresh-faced service EE is touting. Why they would consider allowing an MVNO to (at first) when your USP is LTE, is beyond me.

  2. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    EE, tell Virgin to stick it!!!!!!!!!

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