November 20, 2012

4G Launch Tit for Tat Comments

EE ( which owns Orange and T-Mobile ) has launched 4G in the UK a few weeks ago and its fair to say that Vodafone, O2 and Three are not happy about this. They are not happy because they have to wait themselves to launch 4G until around May next year, or in the case of Three this is more likely to be October, 2013.

 

EE were able to launch 4G ahead of the planned 4G auction, which is holding up the others launching 4G themselves, by agreeing a concession to launch 4GEE in the 1800MHz frequency band with Ofcom. The 1800Mhz frequency band was already owned by EE and was reallocated from 2G use to offer 4G phones and services.

 

Since the announcement that EE could launch 4G ahead of its rivals, the other mobile operators have made comments about how this has created an uncompetitive situation. This seems to have escalated again with more comments from both EE and Vodafone.

 

The Telegraph newspaper is running a story that says that Vodafone are misleading consumers over its “4G Price Promise” because it doesn’t actually own any 4G frequency spectrum. The comment comes from EE who are saying that Vodafone can’t make a promise about 4G mobile prices unless they actually have 4G frequency to offer it. The argument centres around the fact that Vodafone have to bid to secure a slice of 4G frequency via the 4G auction scheduled by Ofcom. The 4G auction won’t conclude until March 2013 so there is no guarantee that Vodafone will be successful until then. Inset above on right is Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE. More on the Vodafone 4G Price Promise here.

 

Meanwhile, Mobile Today are reporting that Vittorio Colao ( above left ) , the CEO of Vodafone has stated that EE’s 4G launch is not having a great impact with consumers and was disappointed Vodafone has to wait to launch its own 4G mobile network. On a positive note, he confirmed that once Vodafone secures a slice of 4G mobile spectrum in the 800MHz band it will give consumers a much better experience than EE’s on the 1800MHz band. 4G.co.uk agree that the 800MHz 4G band will offer much better indoor coverage and is a big plus point for Vodafone 4G.

 

4G.co.uk expect this sort of inter-company banter for some months, and possibly after all UK mobile operators launch their 4G networks.

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