Monthly Archives: August 2012

4G or not 4G, that is the question…

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It’s official; raise the new masts, grab your new smart phones and get ready for wireless Internet like you’ve never seen before, 4G is coming to the UK – but don’t get too excited just yet.


In the plans laid out by Ofcom for the much-delayed auction of 4G spectrum, the regulator envisaged consumers will start getting access to the new superfast mobile services in the latter part of 2013. That’s another 12 months, whilst meanwhile, in countries like the US and Germany, 4G is already becoming commonplace – in fact, in the global top 100 broadband league table of cities the UK fails to even register an entrant.
There appear to be four main players already: Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere and Three. The first three seem certain to get the spectrum they need but the fourth place is set to go, either to Three or to a new entrant to the market. There is speculation that BT, TalkTalk or even Google might make a push for the fourth available spot, however most analysts think it unlikely a new entrant will be able to make a convincing enough business case to get involved; thus status quo will most likely be preserved.
Taking one step back from the corporate bidding war, the big question on the lips of most of the British public will be: why should we care about any of this? Answer: for two reasons; extra network capacity and effective broadband coverage for rural Britain.
Some startling figures released last month by Three show just how much data the modern smartphone user is consuming. An average Three contract customer now consumes 1.1GB per month, compared to just 450MB last summer; and this isn’t exclusively confined to Three. All mobile networks are coming under strain as we use our phones to watch videos, play games or check Facebook – so the extra capacity that 4G promises will be vital.
This is all very exciting about the potential for 4G in the UK, but should we not be a tad sceptical as to the real benefits, especially when large tracts of the UK still struggle to get sufficient 3G connection, ten years after the original 2002 3G auction?
Could this simply be another case of technology companies promising to deliver services far beyond their actual technical ability allows? Should telecom network providers not ensure they can provide efficient 3G to the rural areas of Great Britain first, before over stretching themselves to incorporate 4G?
It is a fact that poor or absent Internet connectivity threatens to do serious harm to tourism in rural Britain; that’s not a matter of opinion – it’s the message coming from Wales Tourism Alliance, which has said that ‘notspots’ puts local businesses at a significant disadvantage.
It’s simple – poor broadband provision across much of rural England and Wales is driving much-needed tourists away. The current economy and the squeeze on incomes means investing in rural broadband networks and effective 3G networks, provides vital support to remote communities, safeguards jobs in the tourism sector and will provide a high performance infrastructure that will be able to cope with the future moves towards 4G.

Liberty expands UK management team with appointment of Head of Telecoms and Media, and two new Account Directors

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Nick Lane, Pippa Melamet and Georgina Heaume join fast growing team of technology PR specialists



Liberty Comms, the specialist technology communications consultancy, today announced the appointment of its latest senior team members; Nick Lane, Pippa Melamet and Georgina Heaume.


Having founded mobile research and Analyst Company, mobileSQUARED – journalist-turned-analyst –Nick becomes Liberty’s Telecoms and Media Tsar, responsible for delivering client strategy, and expanding Liberty’s footprint across the telecoms and media landscape in the UK and Europe.


Both Pippa and Georgina will be responsible for directing strategy across their client bases, as well as supporting the overall growth of Liberty. Pippa brings a wealth of experience having previously managed national and international PR programmes for companies including Research In Motion, SAS and Citrix. Likewise, Georgina has developed and led strategic public relations programmes for a range of organisations such as the Cloud Industry Forum, Talend, Virgin Media Business, The Green Grid and Informatica.


The three new hires follow a number of new business wins for the agency which have broadened its remit across the technology sector and led to the development of its four business units: Corporate and Clean Tech, Enterprise Tech, Consumer Tech and Telecoms & Media. The three appointments consolidate Liberty’s senior management structure further, adding to the appointments of Peter Hay (Head of Digital) and Matt Wood (Creative Planner) who joined earlier in the year.


Dee Gibbs, Managing Director and Founder of Liberty Communications commented: “Nick brings with him over 16 years telecoms experience as a very influential analyst, so to add him to our expanding senior team is wonderful for the company and of course our clients. He has an industry reputation and base of knowledge that is second-to-none and is ideal for our new role of Head of Telecoms and Media.


“Both Pippa and Georgina also bring valuable experience to our fast expanding technology divisions and I am sure all three will be instrumental to helping us drive the business forward.”


Nick, Pippa and Georgina will all be based in Liberty’s headquarters in Chelsea, London.


About Liberty Comms Ltd

For over twelve years Liberty has been driving exciting and creative communications for a client base which spans Telecoms and Media, Enterprise Software, Consumer Technology and Cleantech. Companies work with us because in a complex and dynamic world, we understand their businesses and know what it takes to make them successful across the full marketing mix.


For more information about Liberty Comms, please go to or email Dee Gibbs at