O2 is getting desperate, talking with Ofcom to bring auction forward
Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, has caused quite a stir in the mobile industry after granting Everything Everywhere ‘a head start’ by showing a ‘thumbs up’ to their 4G rollout plan. Ofcom originally said that the 4G auction would be held in December at the earliest, but it seems they want to get out of the dark ages sooner then we thought.
O2 is seemingly dismayed; there have been rumour after rumour that they are playing a last ditch attempt to persuade Ofcom to ‘play the game fairly’ and allow each mobile network a chance to bid for parts of the spectrum which uses old analogue TV frequencies of 1800MHz.
Everything Everywhere (EE), the largest network in Britain, thanks to the joint-venture between Deutchse Telekom and France Telecom, already owns parts of the required spectrum to set up an LTE network in parts of the UK, with closed tests occurring in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff as we speak; it hopes to roll out to all major cities by the end of 2012.
They are said to be working around the clock to ready the systems and infrastructure to be able to sell long-term contracts before any other network which would give it an unfair advantage over networks that dont own the required spectrum, and won’t until Ofcom figures out what its doing.
Meanwhile, Everything Everywhere has been allowed to sell some of its 1800MHz spectrum to 3, possibly the UK’s smallest network. 3 hasn’t said wether or not they will use this for LTE for the iPhone and it is surely bound to anger O2 even more.
It looks like each network will have to play nice and shake hands if they want to play ‘catchup’ with Everything Everywhere, the source of this scuffle.
[Picture: Everything Everywhere]