Sci & Tech

UK Launches 4G Virtual Network

UK Launches 4G Virtual Network
UK Launches 4G Virtual Network

Dixons-Carphone, UK phone, electronics and electrical retailer, has announced it will launch its planned MVNO under the iD brand in May over the 3 UK network.

According to the company, the new service will offer “market-leading introductory offers promising the mobile user increased contract flexibility, greater access to free data roaming and the best value 4G available on the UK market.”

iD will address the core customer frustrations of bill shock (through capped plans), uncertainty when using phones abroad (through a roaming plan covering 22 European countries, the US and Australia), and lack of flexibility (through one-year contracts for 4G, with the flexibility of shorter term commitments). Carphone Warehouse's iD mobile network will compete with the UKs major mobile networks, EE, O2, Vodafone and Three, as well as other MVNOs, such as Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Giffgaff and Truphone.

Commenting on the news, Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, said that the promise of 12-month contracts is likely to be a major win with mobile users who crave flexibility, but iD’s success hinges on how keenly these shorter contracts are priced.

“Carphone’s 'insider' knowledge – from selling deals across most of the big players – means iD should be able to win customers round by both undercutting existing deals on the market and delivering added value to its contracts," he said.

The news comes as Three unveils plans for major network upgrades, with the introduction of new technology that will extend coverage and enable voice services to run on 4G (known as Voice over LTE). Three will ensure that this network enhancement is extended to all of its customers, with a view to 1m using Voice over LTE this year and 7.5m reaping the benefits by 2016, the company said. Meanwhile, Google announced on Thursday that it is launching its own mobile network in the US, known as Project Fi, which piggybacks on Sprint and T-Mobile.

Customers signed up to Fi will be automatically switched between free Wi-Fi hotspots, Sprint and T-Mobile depending on which offers the better phone signal.

  In Iran

The local mobile operator industry is also likely to get a shake up in the near future. Shatel Iran's oldest and largest provider of ADSL networks said that they are interested in entering Iran's growing 4G mobile broadcasting arena.

On April 13, the CEO of the group, Mohammad Hassan Shanesazadeh, lambasted the telecommunications ministry for not opening up the mobile bandwidth to his company. The internet chief stated that his company was being stopped from offering 4G LTE mobile internet and Voice-over-LTE services and that the ministry was hampering development.