France Telecom (EU:FTE)
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Mobile operator Everything Everywhere, which operates the T-Mobile and Orange brands in the U.K, said Thursday it will begin rolling out its next-generation LTE network by end of the year, enabling a significantly better performance for smartphones.
"Subject to regulatory approval, Everything Everywhere will be in a position to begin the roll out of 4G before the end of the year," Chief Executive Olaf Swantee said.
The company is initially planning a small-scale 4G launch focused on mobile-broadband. Trials will begin in the southern city of Bristol in April.
LTE or 4G technology will enable much faster data download speeds and better nationwide coverage and is already used in other parts of Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Its rollout in the U.K. has been delayed by complaints from several companies over the plans drawn up by telecom regulator Ofcom for auctioning off new spectrum needed, which forced a lengthy review.
Everything Everywhere has said it will spend GBP1.5 billion over the next three years on improving its U.K. network, as consumer demand for smartphones and tablets surges.
It said Thursday its roll out of upgraded 3G services has already reached 60% of the network and will be completed by the end of June.
-By Carolyn Henson, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9461; email@example.com