back to article Ofcom saves piece of 4G spectrum pie for '4th operator'

UK regulator Ofcom said today that the spectrum auction for 4G services would start on time at the end of this year, although actual bidding won't start until early in 2013, and it's holding back a chunk of the spectrum from the big three operators. Ofcom announced that it would reserve a portion of the spectrum up for grabs for …

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My burning question

Will 3 change its' name to "4", "3/4" or "7" (although what with it probably being 3.5G perhaps "6.5" would be more appropriate) if it starts operating 4G services?

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Megaphone

Re: My burning question

Well, if they're looking at accuracy, they should dump the number thing altogether and go with something like "We employ dodgy debt collectors".

... or maybe just "Thieves"

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Anything for us?

It would be nice if we could have a slither...

2.4GHz is congested as hell, 5.8GHz has the worse building penetration ever, and we don't even get the 433MHz or 900Mhz that our European and American peers get. 868Mhz has got a crappy 10% duty cycle on it.... The list goes on.

Hardly encouraging innovation is it?

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Cui bono?

There's a place for high-speed networks provided over the air - to deliver broadband to remote locations that are unlikely to get new wires laid. But for truly mobile services, say on the train or in a car, my preference would be for better 3G coverage* rather than yet another new service that will only be available in metropolitan areas for many years.

* And I live within 40km of Trafalgar Square, heaven knows what coverage is like further from the capital.

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Re: Cui bono?

Where I live, it's really good, suburban east Manchester.

Central London, on the other hand, where I work, is really quite patchy.

Canary wharf and the city are really variable with frequent dropouts.

If they can calculate coverage like they could with 2g, maybe this will improve things? Dunno if that's the case.

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98% indoor coverage

Ha ha ha ha.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 98% indoor coverage

Indoor coverage? It's a bl**dy MOBILE phone. Can I please have some MOBILE coverage for when I'm out and about travelling, running my business. I have a perfectly good landline indoors - crystal clear call quality - never drops out or sounds like a constipated dalek. Given that most modern phone have wi-fi, and the ever expanding number of hotspots, indoor coverage for mobiles/smartphones is surely second consideration to MOBILE coverage.

How about 98% coverage of the landmass of the united kingdom - with a usable 3G signal by 2017 or you pay big fines and risk losing the spectrum licence. There, fixed it for you, OFCOM.

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Stop

stuff 4g

I reckon if someone decided to forgo 4G and focused instead on getting 100% (or as close as is plausible) reliable 2 and 3g cover, i reckon they could clean up.

For what most people use 'mobile' broadband for, a reliable 3G connection, should be fine. Do we really need to be able to stream 1080 video, to 4.5 inch screens? I can understand it's applications for home based wireless broadband, but for phones / tablets, is it really necessary?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: stuff 4g

You assume that there is a wired network for you to stream over at home.

For those of us unlikely ever to see high speed wired broadband, we may well need wireless broadband to provide 1080 video feeds -- wireless doesnt neccesarily mean mobile

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Re: stuff 4g

just to quote myself.

"I can understand it's applications for home based wireless broadband"

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Re: stuff 4g

I find, however, that the places where you're unlikely to get decent wired broadband are also the ones where mobile signal and 3G coverage are the worst as well...

Deep Staffordshire and Shropshire countryside are examples that spring to mind...

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Re: stuff 4g

> I reckon if someone decided to forgo 4G and focused instead on getting 100% (or as close as is

> plausible) reliable 2 and 3g cover, i reckon they could clean up.

They need to sort the backhaul out too, so it doesn't slow to a crawl as soon as 3 people check their email, but I agree. When it's working properly, 3G HSPA is plenty fast enough for what I do with it.

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I mis-read the first sentence as, "UK regulator Ofcom said today that the spectrum auction for 4G services would start at the end of time...", which sounds about right. What a farce.

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MJI
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I rather BBC and co had it

As they used to

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Fix 3G first

Until companies like (and specifically) O2 can provide a decent 2G/3G signal they should not be allowed to work on 4G.

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More rip off again

I'm hardly a fan of the mobile operators but lets hope they all bid 1 shiny new penny this time round. It'll be interesting to compare the figures regardless.

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Re: More rip off again

Not an option. The reserve price on the 800MHz spectrum starts at £225 million

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