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4G mobile service to be rolled out

Report by Andrea Lilly

A new era for mobile phone use has begun.

The UK's largest network operator has unveiled plans to launch the country's first superfast 4G products and services in time for Christmas.

Orange and T-Mobile, owner Everything Everywhere, which was renamed on Tuesday as EE, will make the state-of-the-art technology available to some 20 million people in 16 cities across the UK.

Unveiled at the Science Museum in London, the 4G network, which offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G, will be available on HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei devices, as well as "one more to come", which is widely expected to be Apple's iPhone 5.

The 4G services will allow uninterrupted access to the web on the go, high definition movies to be downloaded in minutes and TV to be streamed without buffering

The announcement is likely to enrage EE's competitors, including Vodafone, 3 and O2, who have threatened legal action over telecoms regulator Ofcom's decision last month to allow EE to launch 4G on its existing network.

EE Chief Executive Olaf Swantee explains why his competitors should not complain about a monopoly.

He said: "My competitors have the same tools as I have. They could have made the decision to build and roll out 4G. They could have asked permission, like we did 9 months."

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