THE NEXT generation of mobile phones – known as 4G – will be available in London by Christmas, it was announced today.
In the launch event held this morning at the Science Museum, London Mayor Boris Johnson said the new technology, which boasts download speeds five times faster than 3G – “will bring huge advantages to anyone living or working in London”.
Anyone with a 4G enabled phone, that is.
Four phones- the One XL from HTC; Huawe’s Ascend P1 LTE; Nokia’s Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, and the Galaxy S III LTE out of the Samsung stable – will lead the way on 4G, with “one more to come” – thought to be the soon-to-be-announced Apple iPhone 5. Prices for 4G contracts are expected to be competitive with existing high-end deals, so between £40 and £50 a month.
To join the early-adopter crowd, eager customers will have to go through shops under the EE brand, which was called Everything Everywhere before today and which also still goes under the names T-Mobile and Orange. EE have an early jump on competitors thanks to having spare frequency capacity; other operators are to come to the 4G party next year.
The advantage of 4G over 3G is that with far higher speeds, people will be able quickly to download and watch high definition videos on the move and we might even be able to wave bye-bye to buffering.
As Johnson put it: “I barely understand it, but information will spout unstoppably from these gizmos.”
In addition to London, 15 other UK cities have been chosen for the 4G launch and by 2014, 98% of the country is to be covered.