O2 to Appeal Ofcom's Everything Everywhere LTE Decision
O2 is preparing to challenge a recent decision by Ofcom that would allow one of the carrier's rivals to roll out a 4G LTE network before other carriers in the wireless space.
Late last month, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom gave Everything Everywhere, parent company of T-Mobile UK and Orange, the green light to roll out its 4G LTE network in September. The company had submitted an application to the telecoms watchdog asking permission to reuse some of its existing 1800MHz spectrum to deliver 4G services and Ofcom approved that application in late August. This means the UK will actually get its first taste of 4G before the big spectrum auction, which is set to take place at the end of the year (the 4G roll-out is scheduled for 2013).
As you might expect, some of Everything Everywhere's competitors aren't too pleased with the decision. At the time, O2 said it was "hugely disappointed" in the decision. Now it seems the company is looking to challenge it. According to The Guardian, O2 sent a letter to Ofcom detailing its plans to appeal to the Competition Appeals Tribunal. This letter was apparently copied to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
While O2's decision to appeal isn't exactly surprising, it may delay the arrival of Everything Everywhere's 4G LTE network. Though Ofcom's August approval gave the company license to launch its own LTE network any time after September 11, O2's appeal would include a request for interim relief, which would block EE's LTE plans until the appeal process plays out. Everything Everywhere had intended to launch its 4G LTE network under a new brand (separate from T-Mobile and Orange), next month.