Ofcom pushes back Everything Everywhere 4G debate
Regulator to allow rivals longer to state their objections to Everything Everywhere's 4G rollout
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.”