Ofcom has extended its consultation period over plans to allow Everything Everywhere to get a head start with mobile broadband services, amid howls of protest from rival operators.
Ofcom has extended the deadline for responses from 17 April to 8 May.
"We have decided to extend this period following requests from stakeholders for more time to respond," Ofcom said in a statement.
Under Ofcom's proposals, mobile operator Everything Everywhere would be entitled to reuse parts of the 1800Mhz spectrum it holds licences for, for 4G services, which could potentially be made available to consumers later this year.
That would give the firm a head start on its rivals, who are waiting for Ofcom to auction off other 4G licences in the 800MHz region of the spectrum. Those auctions are currently anticipated to kick off next year.
Ofcom's decision to allow the repurposing of the 1800MHz spectrum followed advice from the European Commission that national regulators should do their utmost to accommodate requests to repurpose spectrum for 4G mobile broadband services.
Both O2 and Vodafone have strongly criticised the decision.
An O2 spokesman said it was concerned that the decision to allow one operator to launch 4G services ahead of the others was "contradictory to its objective of delivering a competitive market environment".
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