Vodafone slams Ofcom over UK 4G consultation

'Ofcom is wrong on all counts' with UK 4G proposal
4G Wars - the latest saga

Ofcom has published the response from networks regarding Everything Everywhere's bid to launch its 4G service ahead of the competition in the UK.

Everything Everywhere has produced a lengthy 60-page document outlining its claim for why it should be allowed to use its available 1800MHz licence for LTE and WiMAX technologies immediately.

In its report Everything Everywhere says the early 4G roll out "would result in considerable benefits for citizens and consumers.

"These benefits will be evident both in the short term, in terms of the improved quality of a number of aspects of Everything Everywhere's mobile services, but also in the longer term as a result of further investment in LTE technology in the UK."

Objection, your honour!

Both Vodafone and Telefonica (the parent company of O2) have submitted responses to Ofcom's proposed consultation – reacting negatively to the idea Everything Everywhere should be allowed to launch its 4G service first.

Vodafone's response leads on a proposed variation to Ofcom's and Everything Everywhere's current plan, stating "Vodafone strongly believes that a competitive market in 4G services will bring long-lasting benefits to UK consumers

"We would urge Ofcom to hold a full and fair spectrum auction as soon as possible, so that all operators can access the necessary spectrum for 4G."

Unjustifiable head start

Vodafone goes on to say: "Ofcom's current consultation proposes to give an unjustifiable head start to the largest player which could seriously undermine competition in the UK market for many years to come"

Vodafone highlights "three fundamental errors" with liberalising EE's 1800 spectrum, and O2 takes this one step further by declaring "Ofcom is wrong on all counts".

That's certainly a bold statement from O2, but does go on to "examine each element of Ofcom"s stated case for liberalisation and disprove each point" - which gives Ofcom a real headache when it comes to making a final decision.

Average Joes have their say

It's not only the networks which were invited to voice their opinions, members of the public have also had their say.

An anonymous respondent said: "This country was once great for taking bold decisions. Let Everything Everywhere use the 1800MHz as soon as possible to drive 4G forwards, rather than stifle advancement in this field by petty commercial considerations."

However Mr Goodchild says: "I believe allowing one operator to provide 4G services before other operators are able to do so creates an unfair market in the telecoms sector."

"Everything Everywhere are effectively asking for a head start, in which they will have several months to market themselves as the only choice for consumers wishing to upgrade to 4G services"

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.