O2 has joined Vodafone in speaking out about Ofcom's decision to allow Orange and T-Mobile to roll out 4G earlier.
The move means O2 will have to wait many more months than its big rivals to provide the blisteringly faster and more reliable connection, which it told TechRadar was only going to hurt consumers:
"We are hugely disappointed with today's announcement, which will mean the majority of consumers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services," a spokesperson told us,
"This decision undermines the competitive environment for 4G in the UK."
Bigger, better and faster
CEO Ronan Dunne recently stated that the increase with 4G would lead to a 30 times increase in capacity, meaning more reliable and consistent speeds for consumers.
Interestingly in the same blog he also confirmed O2 has begun to finalise its 4G tariffs for when the network can finally roll out the service – while most networks are obviously working on this, the confirmation of completely new tariffs shows that networks will need some strong consumer education on how 4G will fit into their lives… and how they'll have to pay for it.
Whether Orange and T-Mobile, running under the Everything Everywhere banner, does get an advantage remains to be seen – on the one hand, it will be synonymous with superfast speeds, but on the other it bears the risk of trying to convince users to pay more for a service they may not understand.
The spectrum auction to allow other networks to buy the airwaves needed to deploy 4G should begin in early 2013 – so it will be interesting to see how the other networks manage in the meantime.