Everything Everywhere ups ante in war of words with 4G rivals

Last week, Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, blamed the litigiousness of network providers for holding up the deployment of 4G services across the UK, claiming they may sue Ofcom if the results of its consultation do not go their way.

When quizzed about Vaizey's comments, Salem blamed the hold up on Vodafone and O2. "The reason they are threatening legal action is to delay us...because they have ignored 4G for so long," claimed Salem.

"They've deliberately decided not to take an early 4G path and we have. [Their actions] have nothing to do with being good for Britain, good for services or being the right thing to do for the country as a whole," he added.

In a statement to IT Pro, an O2 spokesperson dismissed claims its was to blame for the delay in rolling out 4G.

"A number of operational issues, including the clearance of digital TV and aeronautical radar from the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands, need to happen before anyone can start rolling out 4G services," said the spokesperson.

"Everything Everywhere has asked...to run 4G services on their existing 2G network band, so they can launch up to a year early, something the other operators are not in a position to do.

"It would seem that this is about the interests of one business rather than for the benefit of all UK customers and to deliver on the promise of making Britain digital," the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, in a further statement to IT Pro, Vodafone rubbished claims it had threatened legal action.

"While some mobile phone companies may have threatened the auction process with litigation, Vodafone UK has made no such public threats," a Vodafone spokesperson said.

"We would like to see a fair and open auction of the spectrum needed to run these services carried out as soon as possible."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.