Three argued that the unnamed venture between Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone will need to be more open if it is to benefit the entire UK market.

Kevin Russell, CEO of Three, says: “Directionally, this is a good move on taking m-commerce forward,” but that the company was “more than a little concerned that – as a core competitor – we have been excluded from this joint venture.”

The UK’s three largest operators announced plans yesterday (16 June) to create a single ecosystem aimed at encouraging advertisers, retailers and financial institutions to launch services such as mobile payments.

But Russell, whose company had 7 million subscribers as of March, according to figures from Informa Telecoms & Media, claimed the joint venture was not “open” enough.

“The crucial test of the openness of this initiative will be our ability to launch services for all UK mobile consumers simultaneously,” he adds.

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