Everything Everywhere has launched a campaign to highlight the importance of 4G networks to the UK in an effort to convince Ofcom it should be allowed to roll out LTE services on its existing 1800MHz network.
The 4GBritain campaign, which is also backed by The Countryside Alliance, Virgin Media and Huawei, launched on Monday. It claimed 4G networks will add £7.5bn to the UK economy by 2020 and help create or safeguard over 100,000 jobs.
"This research highlights the significant economic and social benefits that 4G will bring to the UK - already enjoyed in over 30 countries around the world," said chief executive of Everything Everywhere, Olaf Swantee.
The marketing push comes as Ofcom decides whether to allow the firm to use its existing 1800MHz holdings for 4G services, ahead of the auctions of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum holdings later this year.
Rival operators O2 and Vodafone have voiced their opposition to this, claiming it would distort the market and be unfair on consumers.
Ovum telecoms analyst Matthew Howett said while the benefits of 4G to the UK being touted by Everything Everywhere could not be discounted, the concerns of its rivals were legitimate.
"The earliest route to 4G would be through Everything Everywhere's 1800MHz spectrum and Ofcom is right to be considering this option, however consumers will only see the true benefit if there is competition between operators," he said.
"This can only be fully achieved through the joint award of spectrum at 800MHz and 2.6GHz planned for the end of this year."
Howett said Ofcom had two options that could allow it to grant Everything Everywhere permission to rollout 4G services while appeasing the other operators.
"Ofcom could consider imposing a wholesale access obligation on the firm to allow other interested operators the opportunity to also launch services. This could be removed once the award of new spectrum eventually takes place. However this would not be quick or easy," he said.
"Alternatively competition could come from whoever acquires the 1800MHz spectrum that Everything Everywhere must divest. This would require Ofcom preventing the firm deploying 4G at 1800MHz until it has completed the sale of this spectrum."
The UK has fallen behind many other leading nations in the 4G market, with Germany and the US already enjoying services on these networks, and the cost of this delay has been cited as high as £732m per year.
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