Mobile Phone Industry Rocked By Ofcom Trading Plans

by PYB James | Mar 02, 2011
The UK’s telecoms watchdog Ofcom has unveiled mobile broadband spectrum trading plans for the very first time.
 
The plans would allow network operators to trade spectrum, freeing up radio spectrum to improve services and meet demands of usage, such as mobile broadband.
 
The regulator said the proposal is of great importance to mobile operators including O2, Orange and T Mobile as an increasing number of consumers are using devices such as smartphones, dongles and tablet PCs to access the internet.
 
The spectrum is the airwaves which carry phone calls and internet traffic to mobile phones and each mobile operator has its own slice of radio spectrum.
 
These networks are becoming overloaded with traffic as more people use their mobiles to surf the web and send emails; and it is hoped spectrum trading may ease the problem.
 
Under the pitch, operators that have a greater need for spectrum will be able to bid for it from their competitors that do not require as much. It allows carriers to sell chunks of their spectrum to their rivals and gives the consumer faster more reliable mobile service.
 
Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, said: “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 making the acquisition of spectrum as flexible as possible.”

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