Vodafone’s Charm School

One wonders which charm school the top guys at Vodafone attended. First we get an EC Commissioner saying she’d had threats from a Vodafone exec, now another Vodafone exec is saying Ofcom has ‘taken leave of its senses’.

Vodafone’s UK CEO, Guy Laurence, was referring to Ofcom’s decision to allow Everything Everywhere to use its 2G spectrum to launch 4G services.

The Ofcom decision means the UK could get 4G services this year like other developed countries. If we had to wait for the 4G spectrum auction, services would not be available until 2013/14.


EU vice president and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has said she “did not respond well to threats” after critical comments made during MWC about regulation by the Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao.


The regulators are hitting back. Vodafone and four other operators  are being questioned by the EC in relation to possible collusion.


The five companies, plus the operators’ trade body the  GSMA, have been sent a questionnaire as part of  a process to determine if meetings between the five operators over the last two years constitute collusive behaviour.


Meanwhile, maybe Vodafone could fix up their front men with a suitable charm school.



  1. Yes, martijn, telecoms, like radio and TV broadcasting, is too important to be unregulated for reasons like universal service which you mention. And my suspicion is Ofcom has taken this action with Everything Everywhere which, as you say, is a change in the rules of the game, because they are fed up with operator squabbles over the conditions attached to the 4G spectrum auction which looked like delaying 4G services in the UK.

  2. To be fair, they have a point. Their strategy is based on understanding of what the competition can do, and if government suddenly changes the rules of the game it has a business impact on Vodafone.
    I guess the lesson is government should not get involved at all. Multi-year concessions in a field that moves as fast as wireless telecom will only slow down innovation / implementation.
    Then again, without government intervention no provider will connect the low populated areas where no money is to be made….

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