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Ofcom reveals plans to auction off more 4G spectrum

by Mark Tyson on 7 November 2014, 13:15

Tags: Ofcom

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Ofcom has reveal plans to auction off more valuable high capacity spectrum in the UK. It says the auction of spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands will take place in late 2015 or early 2016 and provide the possibility for companies to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband services.

Bidders for the spectrum will probably come from the mobile industry, thinks Ofcom. It says that both the "2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum bands are frequencies which could be suitable for providing very high data capacity". The proposals are that a total of 190MHz of spectrum in the two bands will be auctioned off. That is approximately equivalent to three quarters of the airwaves released in the 4G auction last year. The auction will be split into 38 lots and no one operator can hold more than 37 per cent of the relevant spectrum by the end of the auction.

The organisation notes that several major smartphones are already compatible with these frequencies in other markets. Newer Apple iPhone, HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy handsets are among those supporting 2.3GHz for example, as it is used by 4G operators in countries including China, India and Australia. The 3.4GHz band is used by 4G operators in six countries including the UK, Canada and Spain.

In the UK, 3.4-3.5GHz spectrum is currently being used by UK Broadband for its ‘Relish’ mobile broadband service in London.

According to Philip Marnick, Ofcom Spectrum Group Director, these plans are now being put in place to ensure "that the UK has sufficient spectrum to support our wireless economy". It can't come soon enough if a PCPro report, published yesterday, turns out to be true. Research conducted by OpenSignal and consumer watchdog Which? recorded a rapid decline in UK 4G speeds between 9/2013 and 8/2014. The average speeds dropped from around 19Mbps to 10Mbps during that time. If the downward trajectory of 4G continues unchecked its extra speed claim will be lost in practical situations.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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Why auction it of so we have to pay more for the mobile net, and at the same time moan that each company protects their own network from roaming, since it will cost to to expand the net, /facepalm
give it to them for for the cost of expanding the mobile net, so we get better coverage!


silly silly government!
They won't allow national roaming…All providers say the same, it ties their hands too much.

As for why auction it off………I would have thought that was obvious!
hellig
Why auction it of so we have to pay more for the mobile net, and at the same time moan that each company protects their own network from roaming, since it will cost to to expand the net, /facepalm
give it to them for for the cost of expanding the mobile net, so we get better coverage!


silly silly government!

shaithis
They won't allow national roaming…All providers say the same, it ties their hands too much.

As for why auction it off………I would have thought that was obvious!

I can see pro's and cons. It's a money maker for the government but we eventually have to pay for it.

Perhaps a better model may have been some kind activity based charge? Or perhaps a rent based approach with companies being locked into 2 or 5 year leases? I'm sure people have considered these factors though.
Double post, sorry guys.
Lets increase bandwidth on a service which I can't get anywhere near me…. hell I can't even get decent 3g where I live.

Ofcom, how about you get the mobile phone companies to give us a decent 3G connection EVERYWHERE in this country rather than selling more bandwidth for those who already can get 3G AND 4G :rolleyes:.

Ofcom suggest roaming between providers… still wouldn't solve my 3G issue and iirc that only came about because Dave ‘topic of the day for votes’ Cameron had issues with his signal while on holiday in the countryside…
The only way we could get this type of roaming to work is to nationalise the phone networks and then rent them to the phone companies, doubt that would deal with my lack of 3G either :mad:.