Ofcom opens consultations on spectrum trading

3 Feb 2011

The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the launch of two new consultations which will examine proposals allowing the country’s mobile network operators to trade wireless network licences in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz band. According to ISPreview, the regulator has claimed that there are some 12.8 million smartphones in use across the networks of the British cellcos, a number it claims that is placing significant demand on mobile spectrum. Under the proposals Ofcom has said that operators such as Hutchison 3G UK, which offers services under the ‘Three’ (‘3’) banner, will benefit from the added flexibility of the new system, which it claims will allow cellcos to respond more swiftly to the demands placed on their respective infrastructures. The two consultations will run until 17 March 2011, and commenting on the development, Ofcom CEO Ed Richards noted: ‘This is an important milestone in the modernisation of spectrum management in the UK. It comes in response to the fast pace of change and innovation taking place in the mobile communications sector, which is placing increased demands on spectrum. One important way of meeting this demand is by making the acquisition of spectrum as flexible as possible.’