Skip to main content

Everything Everywhere piles pressure on Ofcom over 4G plans

Reacting to Ofcom's announcement this week, many felt the telecoms watchdog was somewhat ignoring the elephant in the room by failing to acknowledge the string of delays that mean Britain’s 4G rollout will now take place next year.

Meanwhile, Everything Everywhere felt its own cause was being ignored as Ofcom also failed to mention how EE’s plans to refarm its existing spectrum for 4G use "this year" fitted into the 2013 rollout plan.

The company, which combines T-Mobile and Orange's operations, has caused controversy in the build-up to the 4G bidding process by planning to get ahead of its rivals and implement the technology before others have the chance.

Ofcom’s failure to rule out the move has angered the likes of Three, O2 and Vodafone who have complained vehemently over the advantages supposedly being afforded to EE. And while negotiations and squabbles continue to prolong the saga, the UK has fallen further behind countries across the world who are already reaping the benefits 4G technology.

"While there are still some elements of [the] proposal which we don't think are in the interests of competition or consumers, we are pleased that Ofcom is moving in the right direction and we recognise that we need to get this process moving now before the UK falls further behind the rest of the world," said an EE spokesperson.

"However the auction is only one step towards bringing 4G to Britain. Everything Everywhere is committed to bringing 4G to the UK this year, and the next milestone will be the regulator's response to our request to roll out 4G over our existing 1800MHz spectrum without further delay."

EE’s comments increase the pressure on Ofcom which is determined to deliver a fair and effective rollout across the country. But should they officially sanction EE’s early refarming before the 2013 plans announced this week, we will have quite a storm back on our hands.