Stephen Timms MP has welcomed Ofcom’s decision to allow spectrum currently used by mobile operators to be liberalised for new, fourth generation mobile broadband services. It means faster mobile broadband could start in the UK this year. Mr Timms had called for Ofcom to take this step. Responding to the announcement today, he said:
"With the UK recession apparently getting worse, I welcome Ofcom’s decision to reuse spectrum so UK consumers can start to access next generation 4G mobile services as early as this year. This is the right decision for investment, economic growth and job creation. It will allow the UK to start catching up with the 40 other countries that already have faster mobile internet.”
4G is the next generation of much faster mobile broadband, following on from the 3G services in use today. It has the potential to provide consumers with faster downloads, more reliable connections, wider mobile broadband coverage, and the opportunity to get the most from the latest mobile phones and apps.
The new technology should also be good for the UK economy. A study by independent consultancy Capital Economics, undertaken for mobile operator Everything Everywhere, argues that 4G could drive economic growth and job creation. They estimate that 4G should attract £5.5 billion of investment and support 125,000 jobs over the next three years. It should also mean many more people can get online, with up to 10 million people in rural areas having superfast broadband access by the end of 2020. These benefits are urgently needed as Britain struggles in a double-dip recession, and when the Government's economic policy has not delivered the growth that was promised.
The introduction of 4G will also help the UK compete with the rest of the world, catching up with nearly 40 other countries that already have 4G networks. They include Germany, the US, Japan, India and Brazil. Mr Timms added: "Introduction of 4G will help local businesses thrive, and make Britain a more attractive place for investment."