Vodafone 'extremely disappointed' with Everything Everywhere decision

By Peter Gothard
13 Sep 2012 View Comments
A Vodafone logo

Vodafone has publically stated it is "extremely disappointed" with Everything Everywhere's successful bid to revamp its 2G databand into the UK's first 4G network coverage.

Speaking at yesterday's Broadband Britain Westminster eForum, the company's senior government affairs manager Aleyne Johnson added that Vodafone would like to ask that "the government and Ofcom work together to ensure that the auction of the [4G-bearing] 800 band happens quickly, and everything is ready to allow those who wish to be involved to deploy as soon as they possibly can.

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"You may be aware Everything Everywhere, one of our big competitors, has received approval from Ofcom to use its existing 1800 spectrum. We've made it perfectly clear to those concerned that we're extremely disappointed by that decision, which definitely wasn't in the best interests of the consumer, or the wider economy, actually," said Johnson.

Johnson's remarks followed a presentation in which he outlined Vodafone's corporate view on 4G rollout, during which he emphasised the need for competition among the UK's LTE telecoms providers.

"We want competition, and we want competition that's going to deliver better connectivity," said Johnson. "It can be collaboration between different technologies, but we need to work on that."

Apparently again referring back to the Everything Everywhere deal, Johnson seemed to register the opinion that the Orange and T-Mobile partnership may not be able to provide the answer to full UK rollout.

"We've had a very positive announcement in recent days, but we really need to make sure that happens," said Johnson. "There are many, many delays to the rollout of mobile networks because of the planning system we have. So we clearly need to address that."

At this point, Johnson shifted his focus to Ofcom's Electronic Communications Code, saying, "We want to have a reform of the electronic communications code, which is essentially the practical rights we need as a communications operator to deploy networks. That was written 25 years ago, and times have changed."

It was at this point Johnson invited the government to speed up the auction process for the coveted 800 band.

"If the right changes are made, and regulatory approval is given to some of the other schemes within the industry, we aim to reach 98 per cent indoor UK coverage at least two years in advance of Ofcom's targets," said Johnson.

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