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O2 and Three are disappointed by Ofcom’s latest 4G ruling

Despite speculation that Three might also roll out 4G this year
Tue Aug 21 2012, 13:39
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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS of Vodafone, mobile operators O2 and Three have come forward to speak of their disappointment with Ofcom's latest ruling.

If you're yet to hear the good news, Ofcom announced today that Everything Everywhere, the joint venture of Orange and T-Mobile, can start rolling out 4G services in the UK from September. However, rival mobile networks aren't pleased with Ofcom's decision, as they have to wait until next year until they can even start bidding on spectrum.

Following Vodafone's lengthy rant, O2 came forward and told The INQUIRER that it is also disappointed with Ofcom's decision, agreeing with Vodafone's claim that it stifles competition.

"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. This decision undermines the competitive environment for 4G in the UK," an O2 spokesperson said.

Three has followed suit also, saying that giving Everything Everywhere a head start with 4G will prove detrimental to competition in the UK.

"Liberalisation of 2G spectrum to date has distorted the competitive landscape in the UK, which ultimately harms consumers. Further liberalisation without addressing competition issues could make that distortion worse," said Three.

However, Ofcom's decision could actually prove beneficial for Three, as the network is reportedly in the process of buying part of Everything Everywhere's 4G spectrum, meaning that it will also be able to roll out 4G services this year, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Three declined to comment on such speculation. µ


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