The head of the UK's communications regulator has threatened to bring in the politicians if network operators continue to squabble over next year's mega-auction of 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands. We're still waiting to see what form that auction will take; Ofcom's first consultation on the subject produced such a storm of responses …
...threatened to bring in the politicians
At least then they'll know who to buy.
Phone companies - kindly eff off
This is TV spectrum and is more usefull for that.
HD at a decent bit rate please
Why have an auction?
Why not get Ofcom to rent out the available bandwidth to the mobile operators?
That way, there'll be a long-term income from this - rather than a one-off bundle of cash that will obviously get used/wasted (delete as appropriate) for tax bribes come election time.
Fixed Wireless Access?
A lower frequency for Fixed Wireless Access Broadband services would be good. Th 5.8GHz slot we are forced to use at the moment is rubbish for penetrating trees/buildings etc making LOS links to end users very tricky sometimes. And yes, in some rural communities it is the only answer.
"Why not get Ofcom to rent out the available bandwidth to the mobile operators?"
Given the terrible mobile pricing and service you suffer under in the UK, this spectrum should not even go to the incumbent mobile operators.
Anyway, what the FCC has generally done is 1) Some portion is set aside for newcomers to bid on. 2) Spectrum caps. Verizon and AT&T have plenty of cash to just buy up every hz of spectrum that comes up, and just sit on it so nobody else can have it. This prevents that to some extent. The spectrum cap would mean in effect that EE and perhaps some of the others may have to give up 900 or 1800 spectrum depending on how much 800 and 2.6ghz they intend to buy. 3) They don't have buildout requirements any more, but they are an excellent idea, both so one of the "regular" carriers doesn't just buy spectrum to keep it out of the others hands.. and also so if a newcomer buys it and then doesn't have money to do anything with it it isn't just sitting idle because of that.
You ain't seen nothing yet
This is not only going to run and run, but will probably turn rather nasty before we're finished.
The situation for the 4G auction is rather different than the 3G one which went before it. When the 3G auction took place, there was far more money and cheap credit around, so the teleco's could make big bids in the full nkowledge that there was a demand for something faster than EDGE.
This time around the teleco's know the government is desperate for the cash, they are still trying to make money on 3G spectrum they purchased and the demand for faster mobile access doesn't seem as strong this time as 2G to 3G. The teleco's are more than happy to file injunction after injunction, take decision to the EU and challenge the government on any and evey point in the auctio document in order to protect their profit margtin and their business. It doesn't matter to them if this takes years to go through, because the longer this is delayed, the greater the utilisation of 3G is, and the more likely it is that the government will capitulate to their wishes as the government need the money from this auction.
The rent or lease options to me look unlikely. What if the telecos don't want that option, they simply don't rent the spectrum and we either have to hope that someone new comes along with very deep pockets to build 4G infrastructure and site new masts throughout the UK (and how long would that rollout take?) or that the rent is so low that it suits the telecos, but that's sure to be bad for the government coffers.
I fear we are still years away from seeing 4G in the UK.
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