Mobile operator Everything Everywhere (EE), a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile, has revealed that it plans to launch a new brand in the UK by the end of the year.
Few details have been released at this point, but the news comes on the same day that communications regulator Ofcom has granted approval for EE to use its existing 1800MHz spectrum for next generation 4G mobile services, which it plans to roll out by the end of 2012. Everything Everywhere was not willing to confirm or deny whether the new brand related to the launch of its 4G services.
A spokeswoman told Computerworld UK: “Everything Everywhere confirms that we are planning to launch a new brand in the UK later this year. This new brand will sit alongside our existing brands Orange and T-Mobile. We will reveal more information on our exciting plans in due course.”
Everything Everywhere requested approval from Ofcom in February to use its 2G spectrum for Long Term Evolution (4G) networks. Ofcom issued its final response to the request in a statement today: “Ofcom has today approved an application by the mobile phone operator EE to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver 4G services.
“Following a consultation, Ofcom has concluded that varying EE’s 1800MHz licences now will deliver significant benefits to consumers, and that there is no material risk that those benefits will be outweighed by a distortion of competition. Delaying doing so would therefore be to the detriment of consumers.”
This will come as a blow to rival mobile operators O2 and Vodafone, who expressed dismay when Ofcom gave provisional approval for the plans some months ago. O2 said that the proposal was “contradictory to [Ofcom’s] objective of delivering a competitive market environment”, whilst Vodafone accused Ofcom of “taking leave of its senses”.
Ofcom does admit in its final decision that EE will “enjoy a competitive advantage during the period before other operators are able to launch their own LTE services”, but claimed that any such advantage is unlikely to last long enough to “distort competition to the detriment of consumers”.