Feeds

Ofcom clears way for 3G kit on 2G spectrum

Nobody likely to freq out ahead of 2012 mega-auction

High performance access to file storage

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). ®

High performance access to file storage

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
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
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?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.