Stop the fighting and start cooperating, suggests EE’s Olaf Swantee
Talks are in the pipeline between Britain’s four mobile operators which could see them share each others’ networks during blackouts, EE’s boss Olaf Swantee has revealed. EE, which owns Orange and T-Mobile and whose new 4G network launches tomorrow [30th October 2012], is Britain’s biggest network provider with 27 million customers and has most to lose in the event of an outage. Earlier this month rival operator O2 faced a storm of criticism when its network went down for the second time in six months, hitting 2.2 million customers. Other network providers such as Vodafone have suffered similar problems in the past, with matters not helped by the growth of smartphones and the corresponding rise of network-hungry apps.Now, speaking to City AM, Swantee has revealed that in the event of future blackouts the operators could share networks, with a solution possibly thrashed out some time next year.
Swantee added that there might also be more scope for the operators to work together in other areas after years of fighting.
Just recently EE, O2, Vodafone and Three finally agreed to a rollout timetable for 4G over the next twelve months, putting an end to legal threats involving regulator Ofcom.
“We don’t need peace to have an industry that works well, we can have a very competitive environment but what you do need is an industry that doesn’t use lawyers all the time to slow things down,” Swantee told City AM.