4/27/2009 11:15:00 AM
O2 and Vodafone may keep 900MHz spectrum
The Government is considering allowing O2 and Vodafone to keep the 900MHz spectrum that they were granted in the 1980s, but could ban them from taking any of the spectrum that will become available when analogue TV is switched off in 2012.
The move is part of communications minister Stephen Carter’s plans to bring broadband to all by 2012.
Kip Meek – a former Ofcom executive who has been tasked by Carter to investigate how spectrum could be reallocated – is understood to have concluded that it is impossible to persuade operators to agree on spectrum allocation in time for the 30 April deadline.
The new ‘digital dividend’ spectrum, which will become free in 2012 when analogue is switched off, could be used by everyone in the industry for rural broadband.
Carter said in February that Ofcom would impose a solution on the operators if they failed to agree on the allocation of spectrum.