Vodafone say that they ‘seriously doubt that consumers’ best interests will be served by giving one company a significant head start before any of its competitors have a clear path to 4G.’
However, EE don’t necessarily have a head start, do they? As I previously posted, any of EEs competitors are free to try and buy the 1800Mhz spectrum that they are being forced to sell. And if Vodafone don’t want to do that, they have 900Mhz spectrum which Ofcom said they would also probably allow to be re-farmed. This is currently successfully being done by O2 for 3G, there is no reason at all that Vodafone couldn’t do the same for 4G, if they wanted to.
I don’t really understand what issue Vodafone have here. It’s their own problem if their 4G strategy consists of ‘postpone it as much as possible to avoid spending the money’. It is not in the consumers best interests to allow Vodafone to continue under investing in their network. Their 3G network coverage is shocking, and if their involvement so far in the 4G proposals is anything to go by, I can’t see their 4G network ending up much better.
The only network which may have some reason to complain is Three. They are the only network that doesn’t really have any spare spectrum to re-farm for 4G. It’s not even been 24 hours since Ofcom made this announcement yet, so perhaps they will say something in the next few days. However, given their emphasis on network improvement over the last few years I suspect they might actually be busy actually planning to roll out their own LTE network, rather than spending the time attempting to derail the process.
It’s a real shame that Vodafone feel the need to oppose this. But it is outrageous that they should try to claim they’re looking after the consumers best interests by doing so.