UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced an extension to the consultation period regarding mobile network operator Everything Everywhere’s request to re-farm spectrum in the 1800MHz band for use with Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMAX technologies. The watchdog has confirmed that the deadline for submissions on the matter has now been pushed back from the original closing date of 17 April 2012 to 8 May 2012. In revealing the decision, Ofcom noted that it had opted to ‘extend this period following requests from stakeholders for more time to respond’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Everything Everywhere, the joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, earlier this month declared that it could be ready to launch 4G services in the UK before the end of 2012, providing Ofcom granted permission for it to re-farm its existing 2G spectrum. Just a few days later, the regulator subsequently revealed its provisional conclusions to the cellco’s January 2012 frequency refarming request, in which it determined that allowing Everything Everywhere to utilise the 1800MHz band for 4G services would be ‘likely to bring material benefits to consumers, including faster mobile broadband speeds and – depending on how Everything Everywhere uses the spectrum – potentially wider mobile broadband coverage in rural areas.’ Further, the watchdog also noted that it did not believe that allowing Everything Everywhere to re-use its frequencies would distort competition in the sector. As such, Ofcom confirmed that it would be prepared to allow the use of the spectrum for fourth-generation services, subject to a consultation on the matter.