O2 turns to CAT over Ofcom’s failure to respond to licence amendment request

28 May 2010

The UK’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, O2 UK, has lodged an appeal with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) alleging that telecoms regulator Ofcom has failed to consider a request by the cellco related to the reuse of old spectrum for 3G services, Mobile News reports. O2 has criticised the watchdog for not responding to its request in a timely manner, and it is understood that it has called on the CAT to direct Ofcom to amend its licence in line with the European Union’s GSM Directive, which came into force in October 2009 and requires EU member states to allow the use of 2G spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz band for third-generation services by 9 May 2010. O2 has contended that it made a formal request to Ofcom in March this year to vary its licence in line with the new Directive by granting permission to offer 3G services using the 900MHz band. The regulator is believed to have not reached a decision on the matter in part as a result of uncertainty regarding government policy on spectrum due to the General Election that took place earlier this month.

United Kingdom, O2 UK, Ofcom