28/10/2010

Ofcom proposes to allow GSM refarming

As expected, Ofcom the super regulator is proposing to allow GSM refarming such that mobile network operators can utilise their GSM/PCN frequencies for 3G (UMTS) use.

This is in-line with European legislation and Ofcom have already written a statement to the Government showing the consumer benefit and thus it is expected that Government will change the Wireless Telegraphy Act to allow the frequencies to be reused.

Ofcom's proposal is available here.

This is still a potential minefield as now Everything Everywhere (the combined entity of T-Mobile and Orange) have excess spectrum according to their licenses and there's still debate as to how much spectrum Vodafone and O2 should have in 900MHz which has much better in-building characteristics than the PCN networks at 1.8GHz (or 1800MHz) and 2.1GHz (2100MHz) of 3G. Once everything settles, it will be better for the consumer as allowing 3G use in both 900MHz and 1800MHz will allow the networks to phase out GSM and replace with 3G services allowing for greater data capacity etc.
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