Ofcom revise mobile 4G proposal in the UK

16Jan12

Ofcom has today changed its focus toward wanting near 100% UK coverage from the next generation 4G mobile phone network frequecy licences. Ofcom will also no longer offer a guarantee for preferential treatment in considering applications from mobile operators who don’t currently have 800MHz frequency space. This potentially impacts on Orange and 3 harder than Vodafone and O2.

Ofcom had previously promised 3 and Everything, Everywhere – the UK merged T-Mobile and Orange brands – that they would both be guaranteed a share of frequency space on the 800MHz band, which at present is only being used by Vodafone and O2. As more space will be made available at 800MHz due to the switchover from analogue to digital TV in the UK later this year.

In 2000, the 3G mobile frequency auction raised £22,477.4 million for the government. The UK’s national debt is set to be approximately £1.2 trillion this year, so expect the new funds raised from 4G license bidding to only cover around 7.5% of the UK’s current economic problems, allowing for a little inflation.

By switching expectations from 95% to 98% UK coverage for 4G, operational prices for the networks will rise considerably; but more rural areas should enjoy fast mobile broadband and mobile phone internet access.

BBC story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16527490

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