Telecoms boss blasts 4G giants for 'disrespect' over rollout
A SENIOR figure in telecoms in Northern Ireland has blasted Vodafone and O2 for not including Northern Ireland in their first 4G roll-out plans.
Eric Carson, right, founder and director at Rainbow Communications, said he was "incredulous" that the companies had not included the province and accused them of treating Northern Ireland businesses "with a level of disrespect".
Vodafone and O2 this week began rolling out their 4G services in the UK, with Vodafone starting in parts of London while O2 launched in London, Leeds and Bradford.
They are competing with EE, which has been been offering "super-fast" mobile data since October 2012. Rainbow Communications is the sole business provider of the new 4G service for EE in Northern Ireland.
Mr Carson said: "There are thousands of customers on the O2 and Vodafone business packages across the province and I am a certain many of them will share my great disappointment in this decision."
Rainbow Communications is based in Belfast and also has offices in Glasgow. It employs 80 people.
A spokesman for O2 said: "Data use on the O2 network is significantly higher in the largest inner cities.
"We are rolling out 4G to a total of 13 of the UK's most highly populated cities by the end of 2013. However, other cities and rural areas are still absolutely a priority."
Vodafone said: "Northern Ireland will be part of the 4G roll-out plans.
"We obviously have to start somewhere and are starting in London.
"We will be moving on to other cities and towns in coming weeks and months but there has been no announcement on that yet."