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Ofcom pushes back Everything Everywhere 4G debate


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 27 Mar 2012 at 11:42

The chances of an early 4G rollout in the UK are receding, following Ofcom's decision to give rival networks more time to respond to Everything Everywhere's proposal to get a service running later this year.

With the main 4G auctions not expected until the end of this year, with services perhaps a year later, consumers might have welcomed plans that would have allowed Everything Everywhere to reuse its 2G spectrum for 4G services in the 1,800MHz range.

The company has said it hopes to get services up and running by the end of the year, but Ofcom has now decided to extend the consultation on the network's plans, potentially adding further delay.

We have decided to extend this period following requests from stakeholders for more time to respond

Concerned that the merged operator has the lion's share of spectrum allocation in that range, Vodafone and O2 have both complained that Everything Everywhere would be handed a competitive advantage by being able to get to market first.

Following their complaints, Ofcom has extended the consultation period from April to May, to give rivals and other stakeholders more time to prepare their arguments.

“Ofcom today extended the period for responding to Ofcom’s 'Notice of proposed variation of Everything Everywhere's 1,800MHz spectrum licences to allow use of LTE and WiMAX technologies from 17 April 2012 until 8 May 2012,” the telecoms regulator said.

“We have decided to extend this period following requests from stakeholders for more time to respond.”

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User comments

It's in everyone's interests to allow this ASAP

Whilst OFCOM's role to ensure a fair and level playing field between the companies is important, they also need to take accountability of the fact that this country is far behind the rest of the world with 4G plans, and not looking to catch up any time soon.

I'm assuming that there are technical reasons why Everything Everywhere can use these frequencies and the others can't. As a nation it is in everyone's interests that this opportunity is realised as soon as possible, and then OFCOM should get their finger out to complete the auction quickly so that the other companies can catch up in the marketplace.

By dafmeuk on 27 Mar 2012

It's all about money

The solution is of course simple. EE get to use their spectrum, and the others get given half each of the other spectrum. Off you go, start running it tomorrow.

Oh, hang on, the government wants some money for the spectrum? Okay, then we have to all wait. Except that EE doesn't need any, so don't have to bid. The others can just bid low because they'll get what they want for little as there aren't enough bidders.

But we will all suffer while we wait. Hey ho.

By MJ2010 on 27 Mar 2012

Who does Ofcom remind you of?

Why its the Frank Spencer of regulatory authorities. Oooohhh, Betty! Everything Everywhere's done a whoopsie!

By toffer99 on 27 Mar 2012

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