Government aiming to accelerate 4G introduction

Government aiming to accelerate 4G introduction

The government has unveiled a host of measures that it hopes will accelerate the introduction of 4G services across the UK.

It envisages that the changes will help to make the installation processes for operators much smoother.

One of the new measures outlined in the government's Mobile Connectivity in England technical consultation is the alteration to planning regulation rules that allow masts to be installed with more flexibility,.

For example the government is considering the possibility of whether it would be better to allow developers of 4G infrastructure to install extra equipment such as masts without prior permission. Height limits of antennas and masts could also be relaxed.

The government believes that such changes would make it easier for operators to share infrastructure. It hopes that the sharing of equipment will allow for greater network coverage across the country.

Ed Vaizey, minister for culture, communications and creative industries,said: "Broadband is essential for driving economic growth and we are transforming broadband in the UK by tripling speeds and getting ten million more homes and business online.

"Demand for mobile broadband in particular is increasing at a phenomenal rate. We need to ensure that businesses and individuals can access this as soon as possible, if its full potential as a driver for growth is to be realised."

The government has invited representatives from the industry to offer their feedback on the proposals.

The Mobile Operators Association has already welcomed the plans, but warned of past inconsistencies that had previously caused issues.

But it stressed that changes relating to deployment would aid operators in installing larger, more powerful antennas without affecting the landscape.

Mobile operators across the country are already in the process of improving their networks so that they can meet the requirements of 4G, with some networks seemingly willing to work together in order to boost coverage.

Vodafone and O2 have already agreed to a deal that will allow them to share their network, in order to keep up with EE, which has already set up its own 4G network.