First up, the company will rollout a nationwide HSPA+ (3.5G) network, which is said to provide 50 percent faster data speeds for T-Mobile and Orange mobile broadband customers.
The nationwide roll out of 3G upgrade technology, HSPA+ 21, or 3.5G has already reached 60 percent of the network and will be completed in Q3 2012. Along with the 50 percent increase in data download speeds, the company claims it will be up to 100 percent faster for upload of pictures, music and video for customers with compatible devices, allowing them to take traditionally fixed-line activities, such as HD video streaming, on the move.
In addition to 3.5G HSPA+ 21, trials of HSPA+ 42 are due to begin in Q2 with a goal to rollout the technology to customers in Q4 2012.
“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," said Olaf Swantee, CEO at Everything Everywhere.
“The integration of the Orange and T-Mobile networks has already given our customers the widest 3G coverage in the UK – and I am pleased to say that with our advanced HSPA+ roll out they will also benefit from the fastest.
I am also very proud to announce that, subject to regulatory approval by the spring, Everything Everywhere will be in a position to begin the roll out of 4G before the end of the year. There is a great opportunity for the UK to have the 21st Century network that it so deserves, putting the nation on a level playing field with other parts of Europe, the USA and Asia.”
The first part of “the big switch-on”, launched in 2010, saw Orange and T-Mobile customers share 2G signal to make calls and send texts in more places. In October 2011, 3G sharing was introduced to nine million Orange and T-Mobile customers, resulting in 190 million calls and over 300 million MB of data being used on the non-host network.
From mid-March with completion in mid-May, the final phase of this program will commence. Known as “Smart Signal Share.” This will see a customer’s smartphone or dongle always give priority to the best 3G signal from either network and allow transfer between the two, meaning customers get access to a 3G signal more of the time.
A recent trial in Cornwall has demonstrated that 800 MHz is optimal for the roll out of 4G LTE in rural areas. In addition, the UK’s first 4G LTE trials over 1800MHz are due to take place in Bristol from April.