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Ofcom riles Vodafone over 4G trial

Ofcom riles Vodafone over 4G trail
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Vodafone isn't happy with Ofcom's decision to allow Everything Everywhere to launch its 4G services before the end of this year.

The UK is lagging behind other countries, such as the US and Canada, when it comes to the super-fast 4G mobile network and British carriers are keen to capitalise on the new technology as soon as Ofcom gives them the green light.

Ofcom has accepted Everything Everywhere's (a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile) proposal to roll out its 4G network ahead of other UK operators later this year.

"Taking leave of its senses"

In an interview with the Sunday Times Vodafone's UK chief, Guy Laurence, said that Ofcom was "taking leave of its senses" allowing the Everything Everywhere deal to go through, thus giving Orange and T-Mobile an unfair "headstart on the next generation of mobile internet services."

A 4G network would see mobile broadband speeds rocket to a staggering (theoretical) 120Mbps and its arrival will open up a raft of 4G capable phones and tablets currently not available here in the UK.

Vodafone (or any other network with a bee in its bonnet) has until Thursday to make a formal complaint to Ofcom regarding its handling of the UK 4G network.

TechRadar has contacted O2 and Three and is waiting to hear back on their thoughts on this ruling.

Update: TechRadar spoke to Guy Middleton, Head of Corporate Communications at Three who confirmed the network was "making its case and finalising its response to Ofcom ahead of the March 22 deadline".

Update: An Everything Everywhere spokesperson has told TechRadar: "It is our aspiration to bring 4G to the UK as soon as possible, enabling the people and businesses of Britain to benefit from the fastest mobile data speeds, and to allow the country to catch up with Europe and the rest of the world. As the Prime Minister noted this morning, the USA already has 4G capacity in place and our major European competitors are ahead of us in setting up their own 4G networks."

"The EU has already mandated the updating of all spectrum licences across Europe, and consequently Ofcom is now carrying out its duty to make this happen quickly for British consumers and businesses. We fully support this."

From Sunday Times via MarketWatch

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.