UK operators agree not to launch legal action over 4G rollout plans for a month

11 Sep 2012

A legal challenge to UK telecoms regulator Ofcom’s decision to vary Everything Everywhere’s (EE’s) licence to allow for 2G spectrum to be refarmed for 4G services looks to have been halted for now. According to the Financial Times, the government stepped in to broker a deal between the country’s four mobile network operators – EE, O2 UK, Vodafone UK and Hutchison 3G UK – with a view to ensuring that the commercial rollout of Long Term Evolution (LTE) services was not delayed. It is understood that the chief executives of all four operators were summoned to a meeting, with Ofcom representatives also attending, with the report claiming that the talks resulted in the signing of a ‘stand-still agreement’, which will ensure that no legal action is undertaken for a month while negotiations continue between all parties regarding 4G deployments. It is believed that one of the key discussion points in the talks between operators is the possibility of bringing forward the date at which O2, Vodafone and H3G would be able to launch their own 4G services. Under the terms of its revised concession, EE is actually allowed to introduce LTE commercially from today, although it is understood that as part of the aforementioned agreement with its rivals it has confirmed it will not do so for the next month, while talks continue.

United Kingdom, EE, Hutchison 3G UK (Three UK), O2 UK, Ofcom, Vodafone UK