LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Britain's biggest mobile operator EE said on Wednesday it would launch the country's first superfast mobile broadband service at the end of October.
The joint venture between France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom unveiled a new brand, EE, and details of the service last month, but did not announce a start date while the threat of legal action from rivals persisted.
Britain's other operators had argued that EE had an unfair advantage because it could reuse its existing spectrum for superfast broadband, while they had to wait for new spectrum to be auctioned next year.
That threat receded on Tuesday when the industry, the regulator and the government agreed a deal to speed up the auction and availability of new airwaves.
"We are delighted to announce that the official launch of our new customer brand, EE, offering the UK's first superfast mobile 4G and fibre broadband service, will take place on 30 October," EE said in a statement.
"This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time."
EE will launch 4G in 10 cities on Oct. 30, and will cover 16 cities - a third of the UK population - by the end of the year. It will hope to gain an advantage on its rivals with the offer of the iPhone 5, which launched last month and can run on 4G networks.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
Keywords: BRITAIN TELECOMS/4G