Vodafone fears 4G auction delay after EE sells spectrum to Three

Vodafone fears 4G auction delay after EE sells spectrum to Three

Vodafone has highlighted concerns at Everything Everywhere's (EE's) decision to sell some of its 1800MHz spectrum to Three.

The mobile operator believes that the 2x15MHz Three has purchased could cause problems with Ofcom's 4G auction, which is scheduled to go ahead later this year.

A Vodafone spokesman told Computing that the move could mean that its rivals could delay the 4G auction.

"The worry is that both Everything Everywhere and more importantly Three now have an incentive to litigate and delay the 4G auction – Everything Everywhere because it will extend the length of its competitive advantage and Three because with 1800 MHz 'in the bank' it can try again to get reserved 800MHz spectrum by litigating to change the auction rules," he claimed.

The spokesman went on to say that Ofcom would have prevented the problem by ruling against EE's desire to launch 4G services ahead of other operators.

"EE would still have had an advantage as the spectrum being sold is not cleared of TV signals until the late summer, but the auction would have been secure and all operators would have had a clear path to 4G," he said.