Ofcom proposes update to technical conditions of O2 and Vodafone licences

23 May 2022

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced that, in response to requests from local mobile network operators (MNOs) Vodafone and O2, it is proposing to make changes to some licences the duo hold. In a press release regarding its plans, the watchdog said the changes would allow both MNOs to ‘deploy new technologies, including 5G, and deliver the next generation of connectivity and services to their users’.

According to Ofcom the changes it has proposed include an updating of the technical conditions of licences held by Vodafone in the 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2.6GHz bands; the proposed variations would amend the concessions with updated parameters that reflect the latest technologies. In addition, the regulator has proposed removing technology restrictions in Vodafone’s licences to make them ‘technology neutral’.

Meanwhile, Ofcom has said it plans to remove a restriction placed on O2’s unpaired spectrum in the 2.6GHz band. It is understood the operator has requested the removal of a restriction on the 5MHz block within its unpaired spectrum allocation adjacent to Vodafone UK’s unpaired allocation. For its part, Vodafone has reportedly contacted the regulator to confirm its agreement with the request. It was noted that this development, if finalised, would allow O2 to use an unrestricted 20MHz of spectrum compared with the 15MHz currently available. According to Ofcom, meanwhile, to make this arrangement work, the two licensees need to synchronise transmissions and both of their licences will need to be amended.

United Kingdom, O2 UK, Ofcom, Vodafone UK