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Ofcom Delays Everything Everywhere 4G Decision

The debate over deploying 4G LTE to the UK, presided over by Ofcom, rumbles on.

This all started earlier in March, when Ofcom gave the go-ahead to Everything Everywhere (EE) to make a start on its 4G roll out at the end of this year. That green light was subject to objections from other parties, however, and indeed both Vodafone and O2 slated Ofcom for even considering the plan.

To complicate matters, network Three has also been complaining vehemently about the fairness of the 4G spectrum auction rules in general, which the firm fears will leave it hanging when it comes to the all-important 800MHz spectrum. The operator is now threatening legal action on that front.

And it seems that Ofcom is now reconsidering its position on the EE 1800MHz early roll out decision, as the body has just extended the deadline for complaints. Previously, that deadline was the 17th of April, but it has been pushed back to the 8th of May.

That gives rivals more opportunity to focus their criticism, and of course, it gives Ofcom more time to mull the final decision over. Some of the flak Ofcom has taken thus far has been pretty vicious, with Vodafone suggesting it had taken leave of it senses with the initial approval of EE's plans.

PC Advisor reported that Ofcom issued a statement to say: "Ofcom today extended the period for responding to Ofcom's ‘Notice of proposed variation of Everything Everywhere's 1800MHz spectrum licences to allow use of LTE and WiMAX technologies' from 17 April 2012 until 8 May 2012. We have decided to extend this period following requests from stakeholders for more time to respond."

Three is expected to throw its weight against the EE plans, as well as the auction process in general, in short order.