Despite announcing that it would hold an auction later this year, where it planned to sell off bits of the 4G spectrum to all the major UK networks, the telecoms regulator has given EE permission to start offering the super fast mobile broadband from 11 September.
This has prompted furious reactions from rival networks, most of which believe the decision puts Everything Everywhere at an unfair advantage, as most networks are planning to rollout 4G between 2013 and 2015.
Ofcom says the move will deliver "significant benefits" to consumers that far outweigh any competition concerns.
A 'carless regard' for others
Reacting to the decision, a Vodafone spokesperson said: “We are frankly shocked that Ofcom has reached this decision.
“The regulator has shown a careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, businesses and the wider economy through its refusal to properly regard the competitive distortion created by allowing one operator to run services before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market.”
O2 also announced that they were disappointed at the decision, saying: "We are hugely disappointed with today's announcement, which will mean the majority of customers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services."
This follows on from earlier reports that claim Everything Everywhere is planning to ditch both Orange and T-Mobile and operate under one umbrella.
However, an EE spokesperson claims the reports are untrue, telling T3: “It is well known that we ran a brand review last year. The outcome of that brand review is confidential.
“However what we can say is that we remain committed to our hugely successful brands Orange and T-Mobile and continue to invest in them for the foreseeable future. Any suggestion otherwise is entirely speculative.”