Talks between operators, the Government, infrastructure companies and Ofcom to speed up the implementation of 4G services have entered their final week, with suggestions the roll-out still runs the risk of being held up by legal action.
As Mobile revealed last week, the talks include trying to work out ways of clearing the spectrum earlier and putting the right infrastructure in place quicker. It is hoped that all four operators could launch their own 4G services by the spring, rather than the planned autumn launch.
Everything Everywhere (EE) is planning to launch its own 4G service later this year and this move is continuing to anger rivals. According to the Financial Times, the talks also include a desire by the government to put a lasting legal truce between the four operators in place, but no resolution has been made. Currently the government has brokered a month-long agreement that prevents any litigation or launch of 4G services.
One person familiar with the talks said a threat of 'years of litigation' remains, despite attempts to reach an agreement. In addition to fears legal action could be launched to stop EE's 4G service, there are also concerns that litigation could affect the 4G auction, which is set to take place early next year.
Editor: Graeme Neill