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Vodafone Slams Ofcom Over Everything Everywhere’s Early 4G Approval

Vodafone has laid into Ofcom after the body approved Everything Everywhere's plans to introduce 4G to the UK later this year, before any other network operator gets on board.

Previously, it was thought 4G LTE wouldn't go live in the UK until late next year or even 2014.

However, Ofcom gave the green light to the plans as we reported last week, giving Everything Everywhere (T-Mobile and Orange) theoretical consent to press ahead with employing the 1800MHz spectrum for "LTE and WiMAX use". The network is currently finalising trials of the 1800MHz spectrum, with another due in Bristol next month.

Vodafone is livid about the decision, though, and has accused Ofcom of "taking leave of its senses" over the matter, according to the Sunday Times (via Marketwatch).

Vodafone's Guy Laurence accused Ofcom of "all but agreeing to grant the largest player in the market a head-start on the next generation of mobile internet services".

While any 4G roll-out later this year by Everything Everywhere is likely to be pretty small-scale, that isn't really the point. Laurence argued it would potentially allow Everything Everywhere to "bog down" the forthcoming spectrum auction with litigation.

Ofcom's decision on giving the thumbs up, however, is pending any objections from rival network operators, and we suspect Vodafone won't be the only company to be airing beef with the plans.