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Vodafone respond to 4G decision

Today Vodafone responded to Ofcom's decision to award Everything Everywhere the use of their existing 1800mhz network for the roll-out of 4G.

Vodafone UK – response to Ofcom’s decision to allow Everything Everywhere to use existing spectrum for 4G

In response to: http://media.ofcom.org.uk/2012/08/21/ofcom-allows-everything-everywhere-to-use-existing-spectrum-for-4g/

From a Vodafone UK spokesperson:

 “We are frankly shocked that Ofcom has reached this decision. The regulator has shown a careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, businesses and the wider economy through its refusal to properly regard the competitive distortion created by allowing one operator to run services before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market.

Ofcom’s timing is particularly bizarre given the reports that Everything Everywhere is to sell some of its spectrum to 3, which Ofcom has previously been at such pains to protect with its over-engineering of the 4G auction. This means the balance in the auction will fundamentally change.

The regulator has spent several years refusing to carry out a fair and open auction. Now its decision today has granted the two most vociferous complainants during that entire process a massive incentive to further delay it.

We wholeheartedly support the Secretary of State’s call for the 4G auction to occur in December and look to the regulator to finally do its job and produce a competitive market for 4G services as soon as possible.

We firmly believe that a fully competitive market for 4G services is in the best interests of Britain. We have already committed ourselves to reach 98% of the UK population with indoor 4G services by 2015 two years before Ofcom’s own target – but we need to acquire spectrum in the auction to achieve this. Ironically, all that stands in our way right now is the regulator."

Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt’s speech endorsing a December auction, can be found at: http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/ministers_speeches/9299.aspx

Vodafone UK and 4G:

We believe a competitive market for the next generation of mobile internet services will bring substantial benefits to British consumers, businesses and the wider economy. Vodafone UK is committed to delivering 4G services and has already moved well beyond the testing phase for the technology, otherwise known as LTE. But we need new spectrum in order to launch 4G services and are pressing Ofcom to carry out the necessary auction as soon as possible.

Once we have secured that spectrum, we are very well placed to launch 4G quickly and effectively. Vodafone and its partners have already launched 4G in several markets around the world (including the US and Germany) and our team has learned a lot of vital lessons by working with the people who have created live 4G services. We have also run three trials in the UK over the last three years.

In June, Vodafone UK and Telefonica UK announced plans to strengthen their mast sharing partnership and pledged to deliver indoor 4G coverage to 98% of the UK population by 2015 (two years ahead of Ofcom’s own target).


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