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
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.’