O2 has announced its intention to appeal the decision by Ofcom to allow Everything Everywhere to launch 4G services on the existing 1800MHz spectrum band. The network, like Vodafone, believes that allowing its rival - the umbrella organisation in charge of Orange and T-Mobile - to launch 4G services before the 2013 auction of the dedicated LTE bands would give it an unfair advantage.
On the day the decision was announced, O2 told Pocket-lint of its disappointment. "We are hugely disappointed with today’s announcement, which will mean the majority of consumers will be excluded from the first wave of digital services," it said. "This decision undermines the competitive environment for 4G in the UK."
Now it seems the company is willing to turn those worries into an official complaint.
O2 will be lodging its appeal with the Competition Appeals Tribunal. It is believed that the letter of intent sent to Ofcom has also been copied to the UK Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The appeal will need to be looked into seriously, and that could delay Everything Everywhere from launching its 4G services in October as planned. O2 could seek interim relief, which could block the owner of Orange and T-Mobile from launching its new data network until a decision has been reached.
It could also affect Apple, as Pocket-lint exclusively revealed that Apple could add 1800MHz 4G support in its iPhone 5, expected to be announced on 12 September. If the appeal process drags or is upheld, Apple's extra expense for a tri-band or dual-band chip could be wasted, in the UK at least.
At present, we have no word from Vodafone on whether it also plans to appeal officially. We'll updated you if and when we find out more.