Early LTE Launch in the UK Facing Legal Challenge

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Plans by UK based Everything Everywhere to launch LTE services using its existing 1800Mhz spectrum could face a legal threat from rival mobile network Telefonica O2.

Everything Everywhere had mounted a vocal campaign to be allowed to refarm some of its 1800Mhz spectrum for LTE services, and was given a permit earlier this month. In fact, all of its spectrum holdings were amended, and it has just announced the sale of some of that LTE-capable spectrum to Hutchison 3G UK.

The move gives Everything Everywhere, and Hutchison 3G UK a head start over their rivals in launching LTE services -- although the regulator had said in its decision note that it thought any such market lead would be negligible in the long term.

The Guardian newspaper wrote that it understands that O2 has written to the telecoms regulator, Ofcom and the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt threatening to seek a legal challenge to the decision.

Vodafone also expressed annoyance at the regulator's decision, but has not indicated any plans for legal action to block it.

If upheld, the networks would all be required until Ofcom's delayed auction of digital dividend spectrum, which is not expected until next January with services not expected until the middle of the year.

On the web: Guardian

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Tags: everything everywhere  lte  ofcom  UK 

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