O2 and Vodafone give cautious welcome to 4G auction plans


But operators expected to go over document carefully before giving their backing 

O2 and Vodafone have cautiously welcomed Ofcom’s latest proposals for the 4G spectrum auction, but both operators are expected to pore over the more than 1,000 pages of the regulator’s final proposals before responding.

O2 has said that Ofcom’s final proposal for the 4G spectrum auction this year is a “significant step” towards 4G.

An O2 spokesperson said: “Ofcom’s detailed rules for the auction represent a significant step towards 4G launch in the UK.

“Whilst Ofcom has taken a number of our suggestions on board, they are combined with other changes to the previous proposals. We will need to study the package in detail before responding to the Notice on the Regulations, which puts the rules into law.”

Vodafone said it welcomed the work Ofcom had done.

“A competitive market for the next generation of mobile internet services will bring substantial benefits to British consumers, businesses and the wider economy. Ofcom appears to have created a mechanism to deliver the spectrum needed to run competitive 4G services and we welcome the work it has done.

“We also support the regulator’s desire to see 4G services delivered to as many people as possible. However, we will obviously need to study today’s lengthy documents to make sure they deliver the fair and open auction that this country needs.”

Last month O2 and Vodafone announced a network sharing agreement that is in part designed to speed their rollout of 4G services.