Mobile operator EE has announced its 4G network will be live by 30 October across 10 cities including London, Cardiff and Bristol as it seeks to carve out a dominant position in the UK market for superfast mobile broadband services.
Chief executive Olaf Swantee confirmed the launch in the wake of crunch talks between operators and the government that saw O2 and Vodafone agree not to take legal action against a decision to allow EE to launch 4G on its existing network.
This was in return for the auction and subsequent rollout of 4G on the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrums taking place six months earlier than was planned. That would allow EE's rivals to have networks live by the middle of 2013.
"This is a significant milestone for the UK and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time," said Swantee.
EE has already touted the forthcoming availability of several top end handsets on its network, including both the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3, although has yet to announce how pricing for the next networks will be structured.
The firm had first announced its intention to have four cities online during October and the rest online by Christmas, but the plans to have 10 online by the end of the month shows the firm has been working hard to get everything in place for a rapid launch.
The full list of the 16 cities that will be online by Christmas our outlined below:
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