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...Meanwhile 3 in the UK rolls out LTE at no extra charge to a deafening silence

Orange is hopping mad at Free in France (see - Orange purple with rage as Free throws French LTE market into turmoil) but 3, the UK’s smallest operator, is doing the same thing here to no response. It says its LTE service will cover 50 cities by the end of this year and by the end of 2015 will be available to 98 per cent of the UK population.

Like its near namesake in France, its LTE is going to be available to its customers at no extra charge and it is already upgrading customers that already have an LTE-ready device so that they’ll be ready to intercept the faster LTE speeds when they become available in their areas.

3 secured some valuable 800MHz spectrum for £225 million earlier this year in the long-awaited UK spectrun auctions.

3 has also thrown down another uncarrier guantlet by effectively scrapping roaming to 10 countries by allowing customers to use their UK call/text/data allowances there. It has just added another four countries to the roam-free list - US, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau.

It seems it might be unnecessary to consolidate the entire European telecoms market just to get a grip on roaming charges after all.

See interview with 3 network architect Ed Candy, below

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