Feeds

Ofcom moots the 900MHz boot for O2 and Vodafone

Let's have another spectrum auction!

High performance access to file storage

UK regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation on the future of the 900MHz band, currently allocated to Vodafone and O2 for their 2G services, and has suggested that a technology-neutral auction might be in order for 2009.

900MHz is a good frequency for building penetration and decent range, and is used in rural areas where the small-cell-site advantage of 1800MHz is less applicable. In the past a frequencies license was always allocated to technologies, so while O2 and Vodafone have a license to use 900MHz, they can only use it for a 2G telephony service, nothing else.

The GSM Association has been campaigning for 900MHz to become available for 3G services, arguing that the more-advanced 3G technology would make better use of the band.

Ofcom would like to go one stage further, not just making the frequency licenses technology-neutral, but also allowing them to change hands on the open market. This would mean a company could buy a chunk of spectrum, then carve it up for resale, or just sell it on as a lump if they ran out of money or interest.

Vodafone and O2 didn't originally pay for the 900MHz frequencies, instead committing to building the infrastructure to support a digital phone service. Ofcom isn't planning to whip away their entire allocation, though it does want to auction off part of it, ideally in three separate chunks to support three new operators.

Generally operators like technology-neutral licensing, as it opens the doors to WiMAX or the like without additional licensing. Being able to trade their frequencies will sit well with them too, though it could drive up the price slightly.

Ultimately Ofcom would like to see all radio frequencies auctioned off to the highest bidder, who would then be able to deploy whatever technology they like or sell the spectrum on in chunks to interested third parties.

Anyone who feels differently, particularly with reference to 900MHz, should respond before November 29.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.