As people might of noticed there has been rumours that 4G is coming to non-business customers sometime within October. Myself, i am highly speculative of these rumours considering the merger of EE and BT seems very unlikely they will allow Virgin to have 4G as it would give little reason for customers to use EE.
So, does anyone who works for Virgin have the inside information about whether this rumour is actually true or not? Also, should we expect to see an increase in price? I guess virgin are going to have to cover the costs of purchasing 4G off EE somehow.
As @enlli wrote, it's unlikely VM will comment before any official announcement.
However I think it is very likely to happen. BT/EE are in a position whereby:
- BT & EE were allowed to merge without any major concessions.
- BT has just gotten away with not being forced to diverge OpenReach which although run as an arms-length company has got many questions being asked about how they use profits to further the BT Group's aims, and how there appears to be a lack of major investment vs markets in other countries.
- Many people consider that BT (and Vodafone) are only competitive when they need to be, and they're quite happy to rest back if there's no effective competition.
- Three and O2 weren't allowed to merge, this has left both companies in a significantly worse off position and therefore (from a business perspective) feeling that it doesn't make sense (or creates a risk too high) to take the fight to BT/EE (and Vodafone).
- EE not allowing (or asking ridiculous money for) Virgin Mobile to access to 4G does stifle competition. It could also risk Virgin Mobile talking to other networks to switch their MVNO.
All of this adds up to a potentially anti-competitive picture, something that BT will be keen isn't seen (whether it's the case or not) - especially with the 2.3GHz/3.4GHz auctions coming up and Three calling on Ofcom to cap spectrum acquisition. Many think BT have been handed a golden platter with state investment initially, and continue to get preferential treatment (whether that's the case or not).
Therefore, from BT's perspective it makes sense to open up 4G to Virgin Mobile. They're then able to generate more revenue from it, and it protects them from losing Virgin Mobile to another MNO (which could create more competition for BT). It also reduces them from purposefully being seen to being anti-competitive on the matter. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer and all that....
BT/EE will not be able to restrict virgin from 4G, Ofcom have made a ruling, you are correct it's about costs and of course setup, training and that sort of stuff, I've also read the reports nad this time if they fail to climb into the 21 st century I'm off for the EE £15 a month 8gb of 4G unlimited calls sim only