03/10/2012 08:59 BST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 GMT

EE To Launch UK's First 4G Network On October 30

The UK's first 4G network will launch on 30 October, it has been announced.

EE, formerly Everything Everywhere, will officially offer its new service from the very end of the month.

Its 4G LTE network was announced after a landmark decision by Ofcom to let EE run 4G on its existing spectrum.

The service offers up to five times the download speeds of 3G, though it is also expected to be significantly more expensive.

Ten cities will gain 4G at launch, with another six receiving the new network by the end of 2012.

EE will have at least six months of exclusivity on LTE in the UK, even after Ofcom agreed to bring forward the wider launch of 4G on Tuesday.

At a meeting with network operators, it was agreed the threat of legal action against EE would be dropped by O2 and Vodafone in return for the tightened roll-out schedule.

An auction for 4G spectrum will still take place in January as expected, but the time between the auction and the launch of the services will be cut by about three months.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said:

"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 the 30th October 2012.

"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.

"We are very proud to be pioneering, innovating and leading our industry in launching 4G for our nation through our new EE brand."

Several handsets capable of running 4G networks have gone on sale in the UK already, including Apple's recently launched iPhone 5.