back to article Ofcom: More spectrum for all the good boys and girls. Except you, EE. You've had your fill

Ofcom has revealed plans to offer more of the airwaves to mobile networks, increasing capacity by around 22 per cent overall, and by 62 per cent in the more attractive sub-1GHz portion of the spectrum. Two auctions to be held in late 2019 or early 2020 will open up the much-anticipated 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands, the latter …

  1. Colin Bull 1
    Unhappy

    Tossers ftom Ofcom

    These must be the frequencies that were being used by some Freeview channels that were just yanked without warning earlier in the year by Ofcom. And they will be back when...?

    BBC 4HD, PBS amongst others

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tossers ftom Ofcom

      Porn and shopping channels are more important of course (since they're the ones that get the punters to part with their cash)

  2. Sykowasp

    And this is presumably why EE are so rubbish indoors - they only have 10MHz of low-frequency spectrum, despite having loads of higher frequency spectrum.

    The winners of the old TV spectrum will have some pretty good penetration into buildings and also long distance.

  3. Simon Rockman

    Playing the ESN card

    This is where EE says it can't meet it's ESN obligations without 700MHz, I suspect there will be a compromise where EE gives back some of it's higher frequency stuff to get some 700MHz and stay within the 37% cap.

    Simon

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Playing the ESN card

      Also customer base vs spectrum holdings.... it may well be that "an operator" needs, say 45% of spectrum holdings if they were to have, say, 51% of customers. Unlikely to happen in the UK I admit, but #justsaying

  4. Martin an gof Silver badge

    It's getting tight at UHF

    Not that long ago we were forced to re-tune our radio microphones, then in the "800MHz" band, in order for Ofcom to sell that lot off for 4G services. We retuned them into the 700MHz band (and bought new in that band) because there were no current plans to sell any more UHF. When they did announce the plans, as it happened our microphones were in the "centre gap" between the two blocks they wanted to sell. We though we'd be ok.

    Then they decided to sell the centre gap too, so we're having to retune our microphones again.

    Last time, some of our microphones could not be retuned (lack of parts) and the others fell outside the compensation scheme. At least this time our newer microphones should both be retunable and refundable under the compensation scheme that was only officially announced on the 13th of December, more than two years after the decision to sell off 700MHz was finalised, more than four years after they started consulting on the matter, and only (effectively) a year before the band is supposed to be clear. We're a small user, with eight "channels" (tx/rx pair) needing retuning and two stand-alone receivers, but I can see there being a bit of a rush during 2019 to get the work done, particularly as you have to get the go-ahead from the compensation scheme first (it's mainly geared towards replacing equipment, rather than retuning it).

    For those not in the know, this is a part of what used to be spectrum set aside for TV broadcasts. UHF channels 21 to 69; 49 lots of 8MHz (albeit with 36, 38 and 69 reserved) covered the country and allowed five national analogue broadcasters and a few low-power local ones. I realise that digital TV multiplexes can be placed much closer together than analogue channels can, but radio microphones and other "programme making and special events" equipment co-existed quite nicely with TV, in the "gaps". We licenced three channels (24MHz) for our microphones.

    From now on, only channels 21 - 48 are available, and not only do they have to accommodate as many as eight DTT multiplexes (only four on many local transmitters - something that probably could be solved were 700MHz still available) but also so-called "white space" devices, which can broadcast wherever they like, so long as they survey the airwaves first. Best of luck with intermittent users such as radio microphones.

    Not happy.

    M.

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