4G mobile phone auction is illegal, claim BT and O2

Telecoms firms say spectrum sale for next generation of phones breaches EU law by offering illegal state aid to rivals. So reads the headline of a newspaper article published by the Guardian
Matthew Howett, senior telecoms analyst at Ovum, warned that the level of opposition to Ofcom's proposals was likely to delay Ofcom's already 'highly ambitious' auction timetable. "If any of the operators go ahead with their threats to launch legal challenges the auction could be delayed by at least a year, which will leave the UK languishing even further behind other European countries which have far more advanced mobile phone networks." The LPRA is concerned that OFCOM is paying insufficient regard to the requirements of other radio users, whose services are strongly predicted to be adversely affected by the proposed rollout of 4G services in the 800MHz band. Accordingly the LPRA would welcome any delay in this process to give additional time for a thorough review to be undertaken.

Posted on 04/07/2011