Mobile operating is shocked at regulators carelessness
The firm, and we expect others also, is unhappy with Ofcom's decision to let the Orange and T-Mobile owner use its existing 1800MHz spectrum for 4G services this year. Vodafone and other operators will have to wait until next year once the planned 4G auction is complete.
Vodafone said: "We are frankly shocked that Ofcom has reached this decision. 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."
"Ofcom's timing is particularly bizarre given the reports that Everything Everywhere is currently in discussions to sell some of its spectrum to 3, which Ofcom has previously been at such pains to protect with its over-engineering of the 4G auction. This means the balance in the auction will fundamentally change." it added.
Vodafone previously hit out at Ofcom when the plans were announced in March. It said the regulator had 'taken leave of its senses' and was worried about the negative impact it would have on the market. See also: O2 and Vodafone join forces for 4G rollout.
Despite all this, Ofcom is still adamant that competition will not be distorted and delaying the process would "be to the detriment of consumers".
Vodafone's statement continues: "The regulator has spent several years refusing to carry out a fair and open auction. Now its decision today has granted the two most vociferous complainants during that entire process a massive incentive to further delay it."