Good Old Ofcom
Ofcom has made a brilliant decision in allowing Everything Everywhere, the Orange – T-Mobile jiv, to start running 4G services on its existing spectrum as from next month.
It’s a brilliant decision because it makes quality of service a competitive differentiator.
Up to now operators have had little motivation to invest in improving their netorks which has meant investment in the networks has been low and slow to grow.
For instance much of the UK doesn’t have 3G 12 years after the 3G spectrum auction.
This new decision by Ofcom will bring back superior service as a key criterion for consumers choosing a network.
Everything Everywhere could deploy 4G services next month. Ofcom says the company can roll out 4G as from September 19th. When it happens is now down to the company.
The auction of spectrum for 4G is not due to happen until next year.
Everything Everywhere’s main UK rival operators, which have done everything they can to disrupt the bidding process to steer it in their favour, have reacted bitterly to the news.
O2 said it was “hugely disappointed” and Vodafone said Ofcom had shown a “careless disregard” for the “competitive distortion” the decision would entail.
Ofcom wants the rules for next year’s spectrum auction to make it inevitable that there will be four operators of 4G services in the UK. It is this that Vodafone and O2 have been fighting so hard against that it has delayed the auction and consequently delayed deployment of 4G services in the UK.