Ofcom Puts the Brakes On Everything Everywhere's 2012 4G Rollout

By Sam Gibbs on at

Looks like Everything Everywhere’s cracking plan to rollout 4G in the UK before the end of 2012 has hit a small set back. Ofcom’s extended the response period to the proposal, meaning we’ll have to wait till after May 8th to find out whether it’ll actually be green lit and we’ll get glorious LTE this year.

Previously networks and other interested parties had till the 17th of April to send in questions, queries and concerns over the spectrum-switch proposal. Shoving the cut-off date back a bit will delay the whole process, even if it is just 22 days.

Vodafone, O2 and Three have all voiced their concerns over the 1800MHz plans and the 4G auction in general. The majority seem to be worried that Everything Everywhere would be free to bury the rest of the 4G spectrum auction due later this year under litigation, if its 3G to 4G switch was allowed. Considering we’re miles late with the spectrum auction and a 4G rollout in the UK already, any litigation could delay the auction indefinitely, hampering every other network’s rollout of LTE creating a temporary monopoly for EE.

While I’m excited by the prospect of getting my mitts on the sweet, sweet freedom-of-speed that 4G promises this year, I’m guessing without competition from the other networks it could turn out to be pretty pricey. When have you ever seen a company in a monopoly situation offer-up cheap prices, even if it is out on its own for a time limited period? [Recombu]

Image credit: Mobile masts from Shutterstock