Everything Everywhere issues threat over rivals' 4G roll-out protests
24th Aug 2012 | 20:04
Warns it will delay 4G auction, if networks seek to block its 4G roll-outs
The chief executive of Everything Everywhere has pledged to support next year's 4G auction, but only if rival networks don't interfere with its decision to launch this year.
Olaf Swantree says if the likes of O2 and Vodafone seek to halt its 4G roll-out plans, his company may be forced to take legal action against the spectrum auction, further delaying 4G connectivity for everyone.
The threat comes just days after EE, the owners of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, were given the go-ahead from Ofcom to proceed with the conversion of its existing spectrum for 4G mobile internet.
The ruling from the communications regulator brought a mass outcry from Everything Everywhere's competitors, but for UK tech fans it's a positive step forward that will bring 4G devices by Christmas.
He told the FT: "I am concerned that we are at the mercy of our competitors," adding that the industry "needs to grow up."
"I will commit here and now to support the auction process, even though there are aspects of the auction rules that we don't like. However, and I am hoping it doesn't come to this, if there is litigation against Ofcom's ruling, we will have no choice but to review our position," he said.
The other major networks in the UK now face a struggle to catch-up with EE, given their early advantage. Vodafone said it was "shocked" by Ofcom's decision, claiming it showed a "disregard" for the consumer.
O2 says "the majority of users will be excluded" from the first wave of devices, which could include the iPhone 5.