Call waiting for 4G wireless networks
APPLE’S SNAZZY iPhone5 will be available in Ireland shortly but what about the 4G LTE wireless networks required to make the most of the super-fast data connections?
At present, 3G is as good as it gets here. Telecoms regulator Comreg is currently running a spectrum auction that will license operators to offer 4G, which will offer faster data connections.
The process effectively began in late May. Such is the strictness of the rules around the auction that neither the regulator nor the various operators – Vodafone, O2, Meteor and 3 – was willing to comment on this when I enquired about the process this week.
It is cloaked in confidentiality clauses, probably for good reason given the large sums involved. In the UK, things appear to be moving at a faster pace, albeit with wrangling between Ofcom and the mobile companies.
Everything Everywhere, which owns the Orange and T-Mobile networks there, pledged this week to switch on 4G data networks in 16 British cities by Christmas. It’s still not clear when Ireland will get its first 4G service. Sources suggest that the end of 2013 is the most realistic switch-on date.
Comreg has yet to award the licences and the networks will need investment to bring them up to snuff, while the operators also have to choose their hardware of choice. Of course, by that time, Apple might well have brought another iPhone model to market.