Everything Everywhere followed up the news that it had been given a head start in the UK’s 4G race with the surprise announcement that it was creating a new brand.
In a statement, the Orange-T-Mobile JV said they are planning to launch it later this year.
“This new brand will sit alongside our existing brands Orange and T-Mobile. We will reveal more information on our exciting plans in due course,” the statement added.
Branding has been something of an issue for the company, which is already struggling with how to offer three different brands to consumers.
Everything Everywhere branded shops have started to appear on high streets alongside Orange and T-Mobile counterparts.
A cynic might suggest that such news might be an attempt to deflect attention away from the real nitty gritty of getting a 4G service to market.
However, such fears appear to be wide of the mark.
Aside from any potential legal challenge from rivals Vodafone and O2, the main threat to EE’s ability to successfully take advantage of the head start it has been given appears two-fold: network readiness and a lack of handsets.
Analysys Mason’s Morgon Mullooly told European Communications: “No major site work is required to be carried out, because of EE’s multi-standard radio access network technology and also because EE already has the appropriate antennas on its masts – it is presently using the 1800MHz frequency for GSM.”
On the handsets front, a Nokia spokesperson was equally upbeat.
“Handsets will follow [the service launch] rapidly and I expect them to be on sale in time for Christmas,” he told European Communications.
“There is some technological reconfiguration that needs to be done – it’s not a case of switching a button but handsets are not developed in isolation and we will use what we have learnt from launch the LTE-ready Lumia 900 devices in the US.”
Nevertheless, it is expected that dongles will give UK consumers the first taste of 4G.
Either way, EE looks well set to take advantage of Ofcom’s decision.
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