Wireless firm UK Broadband has announced it is launching a wholesale 4G network in London, offering high-speed services for homes and businesses, stealing a march on the full 4G rollouts, which are not expected to take place until 2014 at the earliest.
The firm owns several bands of spectrum in the 124MHz range, classed as an official LTE band, which it will use to offer wholesale mobile services that will be available in the London borough of Southwark from May.
The firm's chief executive, Nicolas James, told V3 the services would be suitable for business use and could also be used as a high-speed broadband service.
"We'll aim to target both private enterprises and local authorities such as police services or fire services, so they can either operate their own devices on the spectrum or we can provide them with devices in bulk," he said, speaking from Mobile World Congress (MWC).
"We'll also be hoping to target some of the 1.5 million households in the UK that don't currently have a fixed broadband connection by offering the ability to turn the signal into a Wi-Fi connection."
James also revealed the firm will be offering a MiFi device that can turn its 4G signal into one compatible with smartphones, laptops and tablet devices to the web, and that this will also have 3G and 2.6GHz access.
"This means that even if you move out of an area with our 4G signal, you can still access the internet, either on a lower speed connection or on a different LTE network that other operators will be running as they begin to deploy these services," he said.
The firm is also working with Chinese vendor Huawei to produce smartphones that will be able to access its network, with the first device expected in 2013.
Huawei is also helping to provide the technology powering the network after it was approached by UK Broadband.
Lastly, the firm also hopes to partner with mobile operators to offer its network as back up in areas where consumers place a huge strain on their 3G capacity.
The services will go live from 1 May with the firm now looking for possible customers, although James there are already some lined up and it is also planning on expanding its services both within London and across the UK.
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