I am tired of reading reports that UK regulator Ofcom has approved a plan by carrier EverythingEverywhere to refarm its current spectrum for 4G services.
Furthermore, rivals do not have until tomorrow (Thursday March 22) to respond to a consultation on the matter.
All week we’ve been bombarded with reports, and even offers of comment, on Ofcom’s decision to ‘green light’ EverythingEverywhere’s refarming plan. These reports are fuelled by comments Vodafone UK chief executive Guy Laurence made to the Sunday Times over the weekend, stating that Ofcom would be mad to allow its rival operator to re-use its current spectrum for 4G.
While that’s interesting, it doesn’t change the fact that Ofcom has not reached a decision on the EverythingEverywhere matter. Its press release from March 13 simply noted that it is “minded to allow this change of use,” having “provisionally concluded” the change would not “distort competition” in the market.
It then opened a four week consultation on the proposal. Now, I’m no mathematician, but the reports stating rivals have until March 22 to respond are clearly wrong.
I spoke with Ofcom this morning to clarify, and a spokeswoman told me the March 22 deadline relates to the regulator’s proposals on its auction of 4G frequencies - a second stage consultation it opened in January. The EverythingEverywhere plan is a separate consultation – one that is open until mid-April.