As the networks await Ofcom’s decision on the rules relating to the upcoming 4G and 5G spectrum auction, Three’s lobbying campaign and petition, MakeTheAirFair hits 178,938 signatories before the 30 January consultation deadline.
The campaign, ran by Three, TalkTalk, CityFibre, The FCS, Gamma and Relish is demanding a 30% network cap, a move that would force EE to give up spectrum. As the spectrum rules currently stand, EE is banned from purchasing any additional 4G spectrum, but is free to bid on the 5G spectrum available.
Now the consultation is closed, the group will hand over the petition to the regulators for their consideration alongside other submitted evidence.
Three CEO Dave Dyson, described the campaign stating, ‘The high response rate to the campaign proves the severity of the situation. Both the UK Government and consumers have expressed concerns over the state of the UK mobile market and a further deterioration of the current spectrum imbalance will only make matters worse.
‘The UK needs world class digital infrastructure but right now it’s bottom of the class. A fairer allocation of spectrum is the only measure that will ensure a sustainable model for competition and investment that will deliver innovation, value and choice.’
Previously describing the spectrum process, EE CEO Marc Allera stated, 'While we don't agree that competition measures should be introduced for this auction, we will now examine Ofcom’s detailed proposal carefully and respond to the consultation.
'We are unique in our ambition to expand 4G coverage to 95% of the UK’s landmass by 2020, further than any other UK network has done, and will continue to use our spectrum and network to ensure UK consumers benefit from being at mobile technology’s leading edge.'