Government launches spectrum consultation

Government launches spectrum consultation

The Government launched a consultation today, confirming that it will implement Spectrum Broker Kip Meek’s proposals on how to make the best use of spectrum for its Digital Britain report.

Meek’s final proposals were published today alongside the consultation, after further work was carried out to iron out some ‘technical issues’.

The proposals will make available parts of the spectrum suitable for mobile broadband and 3G to offer more sophisticated services and applications.

They include: making 3G licenses indefinite; working with Ofcom to make sure the 800Mhz spectrum (released when analogue is switched off) is made available as soon as possible; introducing short-term spectrum caps at auction to allow all operators to bid for different bands of spectrum and encourage a better competitive environment; coverage conditions to operators that acquire 800MHz, or hold re-awarded 900MHz spectrum to deliver mobile broadband to rural areas and hard-to-reach areas and; liberalising existing 2G (900MHz and 1800MHz) spectrum held by current mobile operators, making licences indefinite and tradable. 

Minister for Digital Britain, Stephen Timms said: ‘Digital Britain is the Government’s vision for creating a world-class digital infrastructure boosting jobs, growth and competitiveness. To realise that vision it’s vital that we make the best use of the digital spectrum and ensure that sufficient bandwidth is available for sophisticated next generation services, and not just calls and texts.

‘This package will free up the airwaves for the expansion of wireless and 3G services, increasing their reach to consumers and businesses across as much as 90% of the country, including rural communities.’

The Government intends to implement the proposals through a Direction to Ofcom, and operators have been invited to put forward their views ahead of the deadline of 8 January 2010. 

The caps for the auction are as follows:

- A temporary cap on overall mobile suitable spectrum holding per operator at 2 x 65MHz

- A second temporary cap on the current holders of sub 1GHz spectrum of 2 x 17.5 MHz.  Any bid by them for additional sub-1GHz spectrum at 800MHz that is successful will require the holder to relinquish an amount of 900MHz spectrum equivalent to the amount of spectrum that is acquired

- A third temporary cap on overall 2G spectrum, so that an entity who has more than 2 x 25MHz and who acquires additional spectrum in the combined auction, will be required to relinquish 2 x 5MHz of spectrum into the auction. 


Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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