Operators respond to Carter’s report

Operators respond to Carter’s report


T-Mobile, 3 and Vodafone have responded to communications minister Stephen Carter’s ‘Digital Britain’ report.


All operators welcomed the report, but 3 called for clearer guidelines on the free spectrum that Carter proposed.


3 said: ‘’The opportunity here for people in the UK is clearly set out in this interim report. What is lacking is clarity as to if this will be driven by access and quality of service or the desire for Treasury income.  I believe the former provides the best way forward for all.’


However, it added: ‘There's an exciting opportunity for broadband penetration to grow from 60% of households to 99% within three to four years. The interim Digital Britain report brings a joined up view to broadband and universal access, and rightly puts mobile front and centre in the government's drive to bring universal broadband access.’


T-Mobile UK Managing Director, Jim Hyde, said: ‘We welcome this insightful report, which identifies the issues we all need to address to make Britain a winner in the digital world. It clearly understands the contribution mobile has already made and the even more exciting potential mobile broadband offers.


'It also puts its finger on a key current roadblock – the inability to use all existing mobile spectrum for 3G and to do so on an equitable, competitive basis. We have long argued for this. It is important economically and socially. It would enable the more rapid achievement of the widest high-speed mobile broadband coverage and the much more efficient use of the industry’s spectrum. We look forward to working with Lord Carter's Digital Britain team and with Ofcom and all operators to resolve this rapidly.


‘We also wholly agree with the encouragement of network sharing – something we have already pioneered with 3 UK and which is designed to provide us with 3G coverage wherever we have 2G. Sharing network infrastructure does not impede competition but it reduces costs for all, it reduces the total number of cell sites needed and it enables more rapid deployment of network coverage and network quality.


Vodafone said: ‘Wireless broadband networks have the potential to rival fixed alternatives in terms of cost, speed, coverage and reliability. Vodafone welcomes the opportunity to bring the benefits of broadband to more people in the UK.


'To examine the best ways of delivering this for the UK, we welcome the government’s intention to address the outstanding spectrum issues, which are creating a climate of uncertainty. Vodafone supports the government’s willingness to address these issues as a priority.’


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