Everything Everywhere has spoken out on Ofcom's spectrum proposals, claiming that spectrum caps are unfair.
Everything Everywhere CEO Tom Alexander said: 'We hope that, through consultation Ofcom may look to address a number of issues, including the overall spectrum cap, which is currently set at a level which ignores the different characteristics of low and high frequency spectrum and differing numbers of customers, meaning that it may constrain the normal development of the market.'
Meanwhile, O2's CEO Ronan Dunne said today (22 March) that he was ‘glad that Ofcom has responded to [his] call for industry to explore innovative solutions, including sharing’.
The operators all said they were assessing the proposals set out by Ofcom today.
Alexander said: 'We welcome today’s publication of Ofcom’s spectrum consultation and the proposals for the forthcoming spectrum auction, as it provides a clear opportunity for the industry to move forward to better serve consumers and British Business in the 21st century. We will respond to the consultation in due course.
'The ambition and vision of Ofcom is aligned to our own belief that people should have instant access to whatever they want, wherever they are – instant access to everything, everywhere – through both fixed and mobile networks, and this relies on the fair provision of spectrum.
W'hile some of the options in today’s proposals might provide some partial solutions to our vision, clarity on these matters will only be confirmed following the detailed implementation of these proposals, following the consultation.
'We hope that, through consultation Ofcom may look to address a number of issues, including the overall spectrum cap, which is currently set at a level which ignores the different characteristics of low and high frequency spectrum and differing numbers of customers, meaning that it may constrain the normal development of the market.
'In addition we are concerned that the proposals for the allocation of sub 1GHz spectrum do not significantly reduce the dominance of the incumbent holders of this spectrum.
Finally, we would also hope that steps are quickly taken to agree and set spectrum pricing at an appropriate level for the existing 900Mhz spectrum. Given recent announcements around the use 900 MHz spectrum for 3G, the lack of appropriate additional payment remains a major distortion of competition.'
Dunne said: ‘We are still assessing the detailed proposals Ofcom has put forward this morning, and we will respond in full in due course.
‘We welcome the launch of the consultation which proposes that O2 will have the opportunity to bid for sufficient spectrum to operate LTE services in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands.
‘I am glad that Ofcom has responded to my call for industry to explore innovative solutions, including sharing, in order to achieve a balanced outcome from this process.
‘It is important to remember that this auction is about the future. And, as we have said before, it is critical that the conditions for the 4G spectrum are set for fair competition for all, realised through a simple, speedy process.’
A Vodafone spokeswoman said: ‘This is a complex set of proposals and it is going to take some time to consider how best to provide our customers with mobile services in the future.’