Feeds

Ofcom clears way for 3G kit on 2G spectrum

Nobody likely to freq out ahead of 2012 mega-auction

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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). ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.