O2 and Vodafone will not be able to purchase any
of the 800MHz spectrum freed up by analogue switch off, unless they give up
some of their 900MHz spectrum.
The proposal was among Lord Stephen Carter’s advisor and former Ofcom
executive, Kip Meek's, recommendations for ‘spectrum modernization’ published
today (13 May), one month ahead of the publication of the Government’s Digital
Meek – dubbed the Government’s ‘independent
spectrum broker’ – has also recommended an overall spectrum cap on all
operators, which will restrict 1800MHz holders T-Mobile and Orange from
acquiring large amounts of the 2.6GHz spectrum that is due to go up for auction
Coverage and access obligations will be placed on
the 800MHz analogue TV spectrum, which will also be freed in 2010, so it can be
used for next generation mobile (NGM).
Meek’s report said: ‘To enable the UK’s
transition to NGM services, it would be in the interests of all stakeholders –
including mobile operators, new entrants, Ofcom, consumers and the Government –
to adopt a package of measures designed to provide clarity about mobile
Minister for communications and technology, Stephen
Carter, said: ‘The independent spectrum broker has concluded that there is a
need to find a new comprehensive approach to enable the roll-out of NGM, which
offer enormous benefits for the UK
‘This report addresses the complex and challenging
issues and demands careful consideration and we will be setting out our
response in the final Digital Britain report next month’.
Carter said in February that Ofcom would impose a
solution if operators failed to agree on spectrum allocation. He announced his
plans to bring a minimum of 2Mbps to every household in the UK at the start
of this year.
Carter will publish his report on 16 June.