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Operators warn against early rollout of 4G
Everything Everywhere should not be allowed to deploy 4G services before the rest of the market, its rivals have said.Network operators 3 Mobile, O2 and Vodafone have called for Ofcom to scrap proposals allowing Everything Everywhere (EE) to roll out 4G mobile broadband services ahead of the rest of the market.
EE had been granted provisional approval to repurpose some of its existing spectrum to support 4G technology, with Ofcom set to rule on the matter in June following a consultation period that ended this week.
None of the other operators have sufficient airwaves to roll out 4G networks until after Ofcom's long-awaited spectrum auction takes place.
Speaking to BBC News, an O2 spokesman said proposals to allow the move are contradictory to the goal of achieving a competitive market, while 3 Mobile warned against any "further liberalisation".
Vodafone questioned: "Why is it that the French and German runners should be allowed to start the 4G race whilst the British runner is still chained to the starting blocks?"
Despite their complaints, a survey published by EE last month found that three-quarters of consumers want 4G mobile broadband to be rolled out in the UK as soon as possible.