Mobile operators will be able to roll-out 4G services to the vast majority of the UK in the first half of next year, six months earlier than previously estimated.
ITV News' Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:
4G statement just in from Vodafone: "We now have a path to the launch of competitive 4G services next Spring, bringing real benefits.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards has said action was taken with industry mobile phone operators and regulators, as well as the Government, to ensure superfast 4G services launch early next year.
The actions we have taken with industry and government avoids the risk of significant delay and is tremendous news for consumers who might otherwise have waited a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services.
Ofcom's objective has always been to release the spectrum as early as possible and we remain focused on starting the auction by the end of the year.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller has welcomed news that superfast 4G services are set to be launched within weeks following a successful meeting between mobile phone operators and regulators today.
Delivering 4G quickly is a key part of our economic growth strategy. I am grateful to the mobile operators for their co-operation in bringing forward vital 4G services.
The open and collaborative approach taken between the Government and the mobile companies will have hugely beneficial results for UK business and investment.
We anticipate that 4G services will boost the UK's economy by around £2-3 billion.
This is an example of the Government listening and responding to huge demand from both the public and business. High-speed mobile connections will mean that online services can be accessed more easily and quickly.
Superfast 4G services are set to be launched within weeks after crunch talks were held between mobile phone operators and regulators.
Orange and T-Mobile owner EE received the nod to launch its 4G products and services by October 30 as Ofcom agreed to make remaining airspace available to other operators sooner than planned.
Clearing the airwaves ready for use earlier will allow other operators to offer their services by spring next year, rather than October 2013.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, has been speaking at the launch of the UK's first 4G network. During his talk, he said:
- There has been a 250% growth in data used by mobile customers
- 4G is five times faster than 3G, letting you watch films on the move
- London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol are the test cities for 4G. By the end of the year, 16 cities will have access to 4G around 20 million people
- By 2014 98% of population will have access to 4G
- Mobiles with 4G include Samsung, Nokia, HTC and Huawei
Boris Johnson is speaking at the launch of the UK's first 4G network.
The Mayor of London quipped that 4G shouldn't be confused with security firm G4S or it "might not be popular."
Olaf Swantee, CEO of ee, has compared the introduction of 4G to the invention of the steam engine during the launch of Britain's first 4G network.
Everything Everywhere, the owner of Orange and T Mobile, has announced that it will rebrand as EE ahead of the 4G network launch.