Industry refuses to speculate on Scottish independence referendum


Operators say ramifications of referendum too hard to predict but warn of possible price hike if Scots vote “Yes”.

Mobile operators are refusing to speculate on the affects a “Yes” vote in the Scottish referendum could have on the industry, citing the uncertainty surrounding who would regulate the telecoms sector in an independent Scotland.

An EE spokesperson said that the operator was completely neutral on the issue, which will be decided in a vote on Thursday, and that it was impossible to guess the ramifications of a ‘Yes’ vote.

They added that EE would work alongside any relevant bodies, including Ofcom, the government and its fellow operators to determine the next step no matter what the referendum results in.

A spokesperson for Vodafone said: ““Whatever the outcome, we will continue to work hard to deliver the best possible services for all our customers and remain committed to our employees and operations in Scotland.”

Both Three and O2 said they had expressed their stance on the referendum in a letter they cosigned, along with EE, Vodafone, TalkTalk and BT that was released on September 14.

The letter, which was titled “An open letter on telecommunications considerations in the Scottish independence referendum”, said that costs for telecom services could rise as a result of a “Yes” vote due to “strategic and operational factors”.

The letter was signed by Three UK CEO David Dyson, EE Chief executive Olaf Swantee, Telefonica UK CEO Ronan Dunne, Vodafone UK Chief Executive Jeroen Hoencamp, BT Group CEO Gavin Patterson and TalkTalk Group CEO Dido Harding.

The referendum will give over 5 million Scots a vote on whether or not Scotland continues to be part of the United Kingdom on Thursday, with results expected on Friday.

The letter can be viewed in full here.