4G auction facing delay after legal action threat

4G auction facing delay after legal action threat

The proposed auctioning of 4G spectrum in the UK could be facing delays after Telefonica, the company that owns O2, said it is prepared to launch legal action.

According to The Guardian, the Spanish mobile network operator has written to Ofcom threatening to challenge its decision to allow rival brands Orange and T-Mobile to launch 4G services this autumn.

Last week, the communications watchdog announced it would allow Everything Everywhere (EE) to introduce its 4G service earlier than its competitors.

Both Vodafone and O2 felt the move was unfair and would give its competitor a major advantage.

In a letter believed to have been copied to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, whose department oversees telecoms, O2 gave notice that it intended to appeal against Ofcom's ruling at the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT).

O2 could seek an interim relief, which would effectively block EE from launching its service until a final decision is reached.

EE has also threatened to further delay the auction if others attempt to litigate, as the company is also unhappy with the rules.