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UK operators cry foul over early 4G service

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 09 May 2012 14:38

UK operators cry foul over early 4G service Operators upset about an "unfair race."
Everything Everywhere asked Ofcom - the UK communications regulator - to allow it to use some of its existing spectrum to roll out next generation 4G services in the region. Ofcom had a consultation period while it is considering EE's request, and of course, all three main rivals attacked the proposal.

O2, Vodafone and Three all expressed their opposition to the plan, calling it unfair and questioning the regulators goals for competition in the market.

"We are concerned that Ofcom's proposal to allow one operator to launch 4G early on its existing spectrum is contradictory to its objective of delivering a competitive market environment with four competing players," an O2 spokesman told the BBC.

Vodafone said that permission for EE to use existing spectrum for next generation services would represent an unfair race.

"We can't understand why Ofcom would ignore the overwhelming evidence that giving Everything Everywhere a head start could seriously undermine competition in the UK market," Vodafone said in a statement. "Put simply, why is it that the French and German runners should be allowed to start the 4G race whilst the British runner is still chained to the starting blocks? Is that what we can expect at the forthcoming Olympics?"

Three also voiced its opposition to the motion, as it had previously slammed Ofcom's decision to allow O2 to use existing 2G spectrum for 3G services.

Everything Everywhere is confident that Ofcom will side with it, and points out that both Vodafone and O2 have enough 4G compatible spectrum to initiate small-scale rollouts too.

"If given permission to use our current spectrum to roll out 4G, Everything Everywhere is ready and able to start bringing the considerable social and economic benefits of this technology to Britain this year," a spokeswoman told the BBC.

"If in launching 4G we encourage others to make the requisite investments and innovations, then that can only be a good thing for the UK."

Tags: UK
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