Mobile Network Operators protest Spectrum Shortage

A couple of leading mobile network operators of the United Kingdom have accused Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator of distorting competition by letting rivals Vodafone UK and O2 UK for using their 900MHz frequency spectrum for delivering 3G broadband and voice services.

The accusers, Everything Everywhere (the joint venture of Orange UK and T-Mobile in the United Kingdom) and Three UK complained of the regulator’s allotting a dramatic leg-up for Vodafone and O2 against their firms.

Interestingly, the regulator has also given permission to Everything Everywhere to access its GSM spectrum for running UMTS (3G) services, although at present there are hardly any handset available for 3G access in the 1800MHz frequency used by it. This was revealed by Richard Moat chief executive officer at Everything Everywhere.

The potential culmination of the decision of the regulator of Vodafone and O2 ending up with much heavier shares 3G spectrum than Three UK is the gist of the thing that intimidates the latter.

Meanwhile, both Three UK and Everything Everywhere are discillusioned of the regulator dropping a proposal forwarded in 2007 requiring Vodafone and O2 abnegate some of their spectrum at the 900Mhz frequency, so that it could be used by the competitors.

On the other hand, Ofcom’s spectrum policy director, Graham Louth rejected the accusations that the watchdog had distoreted competition. He said that the auction of airwaves inclusive of low frequency spectrum at the bandwidth of 800MHz has been planned by by the body for next year.

Comments are closed.