The Vodafone logo is seen at the counter of the shop as customers look at mobile phones in Prague (Photo : Reuters)
UK communications regulator Ofcom has decided to allow Everything Everywhere, the company in charge of T-Mobile and Orange, to start offering 4G services starting September 11th, at least three months before their competitors are allowed to enter the 4G space.
4G services, which must go up for auction for the company's competitors, will allow Everything Everywhere to develop an installed base and force everyone else to play catch up.
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Naturally, the competition is not happy. Specifically, Vodafone and O2 have loudly spoken out about the issue.
An O2 spokesman exclaims, "We are hugely disappointed with today's announcement, which will mean the majority of consumers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services. This decision undermines the competitive environment for 4G in the UK."
"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," said a Vodafone UK spokesman.
By citing "competitive distortion," Vodafone has pointed out a perceived contradiction between Ofcom's decision and its stated purpose.
Ofcom's official website states that its vision is to "make sure that people in the UK get the best from their communications services and are protected from scams and sharp practices, while ensuring that competition can thrive."
While the ethics of Ofcom's decision are up for debate, the fact is that millions of Everything Everywhere customers will be enjoying 4G services in just a few months' time.