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No 4G network for Britain until 2015, Ofcom warns

The UK won't see wide availability of the faster 4G network until 2015, according to plans outlined in Ofcom's annual plan for 2012/2013.

Abysmal news for you lovers of super-fast mobile data -- Britain won't be getting a 4G network until 2015, according to plans from telecoms watchdog Ofcom.

In its draft annual plan for 2012/2013, Ofcom gave the Old Yeller treatment to any hopes we had of cruising on 4G networks next year. The report reckons roll-out of 4G mobile services will begin in 2013/14 and that "wide availability" will be achieved in 2015.

That's damnably disappointing if, like us, you've been seething with jealousy at the high speeds enjoyed by US smart phone users. It's not all about speed though -- a 4G network would allow Internet access to rural locations where wired networks are too costly to install.

The spectrum required for the 4G network was due to be auctioned off to network providers some time in 2012, but that has already been pushed back to 2013, so it's quite possible Ofcom's proposed timeline -- notably still in 'draft' form -- are pie-in-the-sky numbers.

The plan also outlines Ofcom's plans for stable networks throughout the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as ongoing reviews of broadband speeds and consumer information -- all of which appeared much more prominently than the 4G delay in the report.

It's a huge shame to see the faster network postponed again, especially as O2 has begun trialling it in London and Cornwall recently. Perhaps if we all keep our fingers crossed and don't step on the cracks, the network providers will work happily together and we'll see it rolled out before the decade's half-done.