Everything Everywhere is still pushing to rollout 4G to the UK by the end of this year, despite today's Ofcom announcement that the super-fast mobile broadband will be available nationwide at the end of 2013.
The network operator, which owns both T-Mobile and Orange, has long been pushing to offer 4G to UK consumers by cannibalising on its current 2G infrastructure.
However, the company claims its efforts are being thwarted by the watchdog, which is yet to approve Everything Everywhere's request to offer 4G to customers on its existing 1800MHz spectrum.
A UK spokesperson said: “Today’s publication of the 4G auction rules is a crucial step towards bringing the benefits of faster mobile speeds and better connectivity to Britain, as well as stimulating £5.5bn investment into the UK economy.
“While there are still some elements of today’s proposal which we don’t think are in the interests of competition or consumers, we are pleased that Ofcom is moving in the right direction and we recognise that we need to get this process moving now before the UK falls further behind the rest of the world.
“However the auction is only one step towards bringing 4G to Britain. Everything Everywhere is committed to bringing 4G to the UK this year, and the next milestone will be the regulator’s response to our request to roll out 4G over our existing 1800MHz spectrum without further delay.”
The comments follow on from an announcement made earlier today by Ofcom, which said it's finally hoping to host the delayed 4G auction later this year.
The auction will see the likes of O2, Vodafone and T-Mobile, amongst others, each bid for their chunk of the radio spectrum used to deliver the superfast broadband to consumers.
It has reportedly been delayed several times following a series of disputes between the network operators, and disagreements concerning how the spectrum will be divided up and shared.
If a deal is reached, Ofcom claims 4G will be made available to 98 per cent of the UK population by the end of 2013.
Too soon to tell
Three Mobile has also released a statement, saying: "Ofcom’s decision on the structure of the spectrum auction will have a lasting effect on the choice of services and value available to mobile consumers.
“We are working through the detail of this very substantial document to evaluate what it means for both consumers and competition in the UK mobile market.”
Vodafone has taken a similar stance, praising Ofcom for its work on the 4G rollout but again, has refrained from commenting further until studying Ofcom's decision: “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."
O2 has also commented briefly: “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.”