Everything Everywhere and Nokia reportedly readying exclusive UK LTE deal with 4G Lumia 920
4G mobile internet access is heading to UK customers in the very near future, after Everything Everywhere received the green light from Ofcom to roll out its LTE network ahead of competitors. The Financial Times is reporting that Nokia are preparing to partner with Everything Everywhere in a bid to launch their recently announced Lumia 920 smartphone as the UK’s first 4G smartphone.
The exclusive deal could mean 4G LTE access to Nokia Lumia 920 customers as early as November, when the handset is expected to launch here in the UK. Way ahead of the proposed 2013 LTE rollouts planned by other competing UK mobile networks.
This deal is exactly the kind of differentiating feature Nokia needs in order to drum up interest in their new flagship Windows Phone 8 device. With such strong competition in the smartphone market from Apple, Samsung and HTC, an LTE exclusive will attract a huge amount of interest.
The iPhone 5, expected to be announced this Wednesday, has been widely rumoured to carry LTE functionality, but with Everything Everywhere currently the only company cleared to operate an LTE network in the UK, the iPhone 5 will be limited to current 3G networks only.
Exactly how long Nokia’s exclusive LTE deal will last is anyone’s guess, though we might not have to wait very long to find out. Everything Everywhere are holding an event tomorrow to discuss their ‘next-gen network’ in more detail, one day ahead of Apple’s new iPhone announcement. Tomorrow’s event is likely to be the reason why we are hearing these reports today.
Despite the huge speed benefits of 4G LTE mobile internet, it’s still unclear exactly how the UK public will react to the technology. Reduced battery life is a big downside to LTE at the moment, capable of draining a phone’s battery in a matter of hours. With smartphone’s barely lasting a full day, even when used conservatively, this could seriously limit mass adoption of 4G.
Of course, technology enthusiasts will be excited to finally get LTE in the UK, and mobile store sales teams will be eager to use the 4G label to help sell even more expensive handsets, but do most consumers really need 4G speeds right now? Not really, no.
4G will be more of a luxury feature than a requirement. Most users do little more than download apps, music and YouTube videos, alongside browsing the web – activities that 3G is more than capable of supporting. There will be a small, albeit significant, number of people who will require LTE connectivity for mobile computing, but we are talking a very small percentage of the general population. Then there is the problem of network coverage. At such an early stage in LTE rollout, most of the UK will have little to no 4G coverage whatsoever.
At the end of the day, LTE speeds are not essential for getting a majority of tasks done using our mobile devices, especially if it means sacrificing battery life along the way. In a year or so, when LTE’s predictably high prices drop, coverage improves and mobile data requirements increase, perhaps then we’ll see mass adoption of our next generation mobile speeds.
Until then a handful of LTE devices, spearheaded by the 4G Lumia 920, will capitalise on 4G exclusivity. Hopefully, this will help Windows Phone 8 gain greater traction in the UK smartphone market and providing consumers with more competitive pricing and increased innovation.Tagged in: 4G, apple, everything everything, iphone 5, LTE, Lumia, Lumia 920, Nokia, Windows Phone 8
Recent Posts on Science & Technology
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter