4G networks will give better mobile coverage to everything
4G will make downloading data and browsing the web much quicker HealthLeadsUK

Ofcom has outlined its plans for Britain's upgrade to the super-fast 4G mobile network technology, promising that at least four mobile operators will use the network.

The regulatory body also added that 4G will provide data to areas which are not currently served by mobile broadband due to geographical constraints, so much so that Ofcom believes that eventually 98 percent of the UK will be covered.

Chief executive of Ofcom, Ed Richards, said: "This is a crucial step in preparing for the most significant spectrum release in the UK for many years. The proposals published today [January 12] will influence the provision of services to consumers for the next decade and beyond."

The UK has been criticised for falling behind other countries - such as Japan, South Korea and the U.S. - who have been enjoying the benefits of 4G networking for years, and delays in the auctioning of 4G bandwidths to networks has caused the upgrade from 3G to stall on numerous occasions.

Users of smartphones and laptops with mobile broadband connections will be able to enjoy vastly superior upload and download speeds over a 4G network, with speeds easily rivalling those of current wired connections in homes.

With £150 million in funding from the government, Ofcom believes that it can entice one - as yet unnamed - mobile operator to cover at least 90 percent of the UK population, with a condition imposed that each network that bids on the 4G spectrum must provide coverage for at least 95 percent of the UK.

Richards continued: "As the UK enters a new generation of mobile communications, Ofcom's objective is to promote effective competition and to stimulate both investment and innovation."

Ofcom hopes that the introduction of 4G over the coming years will "significantly enhance" mobile broadband and provide a coverage wider than what is currently offered on the much older and slower 2G network.