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O2 slams EE for 'self-serving' 4G mobile broadband campaign
The 4GBritain campaign serves the interests of Everything Everywhere, according to O2.O2 has accused Everything Everywhere (EE) of serving its own interests by launching a campaign to raise awareness of 4G mobile broadband technology.
EE claimed the initiative, named 4GBritain, has been introduced to let consumers know about the benefits offered by the next generation of mobile broadband services.
Research published by the carrier earlier this week showed that by the end of the decade, 4G will safeguard or create 125,000 jobs in the UK and deliver super-fast connectivity to ten million people who cannot receive the service via fixed-line broadband.
Responding to the campaign, an O2 spokesperson pointed out that EE has requested the ability to utilise some of its existing spectrum for 4G services, meaning it could potentially begin the rollout of 4G mobile broadband before the end of 2012 - up to a year earlier than its rivals.
"It would seem, therefore, that this campaign is about the interests of one business, rather than for the benefit of all UK customers and to deliver on the promise of making Britain digital," they argued.
O2 stressed that it would be prepared to support any scheme that acts openly and in the best interests of all customers and claimed the UK's mobile market is the most competitive in Europe, offering the best value for money to consumers.
Highlighting O2's own preparations for the launch of 4G, the spokesperson noted that the service provider is currently trialling the technology in London.
The network operator has previously stated that the pilot scheme achieved maximum broadband speeds of 150Mbps.
"Our efforts have demonstrated the very real need for - and benefit of - 4G in the UK," O2 added.
Vodafone also criticised the campaign, pointing out that EE controls 83 per cent of the spectrum in the band that Ofcom is considering to vary, meaning it is in a far stronger position to roll out 4G than any of its competitors.