Regulatory shortcomings could leave the UK trailing the rest of Europe on the rollout of 5G networks in a post-Brexit future, and also threaten Vodafone's ability to compete against fixed-line incumbent BT, according to senior executives from the UK mobile operator.
The failure of regulatory authority Ofcom to make BT open its fiber network to rivals may put Vodafone UK at a big disadvantage to the former state-owned monopoly in the UK's 5G market, said Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK's corporate affairs director, during a press briefing in London last week.
The situation is critical as both Vodafone and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) prepare to launch their first commercial 5G services next year. BT CEO Gavin Patterson disclosed plans for a 2019 launch of 5G during a recent earnings update, while Vodafone said during the briefing that its first urban deployments would probably happen next year. (See BT Kicks Off 5G Campaign With Plans for 2019 Launch.)
— Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading
This is an edited version of a story that was originally published on Telco Transformation's sister site, Light Reading. To see the full story, click here.