Read Ed Richards's Power 50 profile for 20134 June 2013
Richards’ hard work is now over, with the 4G auction finally completed earlier this year. The decision to use the sell-off of spectrum to safeguard competition rather than stuff the Treasury’s coffers appeared to be a shrewd one for the industry – operators paid a fraction of the £22.5bn they spent during the 3G auction a decade ago. Richards’ influence has understandably tumbled from 12 months ago, when he was in the top five of the Power 50, but his decision making still affects the industry. Ofcom is about to rule on whether consumers should be allowed to walk away from contracts if operators increase the price during their duration. Consumers hate them but operators say they have to do it to defend against inflation. Richards has another tricky line to walk along.