Vodafone UK chief attacks Ofcom over 4G plans
By Sarah Shearman, marketingmagazine.co.uk, Monday, 19 March 2012 10:25AM
Vodafone's UK chief executive Guy Laurence has hit out at Ofcom, accusing it of "taking leave of its senses" in its decision to give rival network provider Everything Everywhere a head-start on 4G rollout.
Last week, the media regulator announced that Everything Everywhere, which owns T-Mobile and Orange, would be able to use its existing 1800Mhz spectrum to run LTE (next generation mobile broadband) services, while Vodafone and O2 would have to wait for the delayed auction of the 800Mhz spectrum to take place.
This means Everything Everywhere customers would benefit from faster mobile broadband as early as October this year, which could be up to 18 months ahead of rivals.
Laurence said: "The regulator has always stressed that competition is in the best interests of consumers and the British economy, yet here it is all but agreeing to grant the largest player in the market a headstart on the next generation of mobile internet services.
"This decision leaves Everything Everywhere free to prevent anyone else from launching 4G services, by bogging next year's auction down in endless litigation.
Ofcom said it considered whether allowing Everything Everywhere to use this spectrum in this way would distort competition, and provisionally concluded that it would not.
The regulator said: "Given the benefits this would bring to consumers, Ofcom is minded to allow this change of use."
The decision is due to regulatory approval and the deadline for consultation is on 17 April.
Everything Everywhere had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
O2 did not respond to requests for comment on this occasion, but in the past it has criticised Ofcom over its 4G auction plans.
Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @Shearmans
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
- Marketing Support Dot-Gap £17k, London Central
- Account Manager AF Selection £25000 - £28000 per annum, Manchester
- Head of Resource The Industry Club London Ltd 55 - 60K, LONDON, SE1
- Global Digital Manager - Dubai Dot-Gap £47k, London Central
- Global Strategic Planning + Insight Exec Dot-Gap £31k, Dubai (Emirate) (AE)
- Black horse returns in new Lloyds Bank campaign
- The man who made Grey matter
- Watch: Every Grand Prix winner from Cannes Lions 2015
- 'You're thirsty. We've got sales targets', says Oasis in summer campaign launch
- Heineken selects Publicis Worldwide to be lead global creative agency
- Programmatic adspend nears £1bn and doubles for mobile