Feeds

Ofcom clears way for 3G kit on 2G spectrum

Nobody likely to freq out ahead of 2012 mega-auction

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Ofcom has modified the UK's mobile-operator licences to allow 3G services at 2G frequencies, though don't expect to be able to use them any time soon.

The proposed modifications were published last year, but have now been enacted with a couple of clarifications (pdf) including a promise to open up the frequencies to new technologies and require coordination with the railways (who run their own mobile network next door), but Ofcom isn't saying how much the operators are going to have to pay for all this newfound freedom.

The lucky operators who were first in the queue (Vodafone and O2) currently pay a minimal annual fee for their 2G spectrum – which was allocated to them when cellular telephony first arrived in the UK – but Everything Everywhere also has considerable holdings on which it will have to pay a market-based rent eventually. Ofcom reckons there's no point calculating that until after next year's mega-auction, as that will change everything.

What will also change is the list of permitted technologies; today's modified licence specifically allows 3G technology to be used in the 2G spectrum, but Ofcom tells us that's just because it's waiting for EU approval for fully technology-neutral licensing, something it expects to see later this year.

So from today network operators can switch on 3G connectivity in 2G frequencies (900 and 1800MHz), as long as they're not too near a railway (in which case they'll need to monitor possible interference with Network Rail's GSM-R network). But beyond a test site or two they won't – not until next year's mega-auction is mapped out (next month) or perhaps even completed (next year). ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.