Wednesday, September 05, 2012

O2 threaten to challenge Everything Everywhere's launch of 4G services

The Guardian reported last week that O2 has threatened to challenge Ofcom's recent decision that Everything Everywhere should be allowed to launch 4G mobile broadband services in the UK in advance of the forthcoming spectrum auction, using its existing spectrum holdings (more on this here):
"The Guardian understands that Spanish company Telefónica, which owns O2, has written to telecoms regulator Ofcom threatening to challenge its decision to allow rival brands Orange and T-Mobile to launch 4G services this autumn...In a letter believed to have been copied to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, whose department oversees telecoms, O2 gave notice that it intended to appeal against Ofcom's ruling at the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT). As part of the appeal, O2 could seek an interim relief, effectively blocking Everything Everywhere from launching its 4G service until a decision is reached. Separately, the Guardian understands that O2 issued EE with an ultimatum that gave the company until Tuesday evening this week to undertake not to go ahead with its 4G launch."
Everything Everywhere has warned it may challenge the forthcoming auction process if any other operators take action to halt its 4G plans - more on this here. Computing reports that Ofcom are prepared for this eventuality:
""Allowing the early introduction of 4G services in the UK will deliver significant benefits to consumers. We are ready for any potential litigation of our decision to allow this and we will robustly defend our position if required," an Ofcom spokesperson said."
Similar coverage from The Register and ISP Review.

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