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Ofcom seeks second-round talks on UK's 4G spectrum auction
|10 октября 2011|
U.K. communications regulator Ofcom on Friday said it will be seeking a second round of talks with industry participants in connection with its plans for the nation's single-biggest auction of mobile spectrum.
Ofcom received 40-50 responses from U.K. mobile operators as well as from some consumer organizations and individuals by a June deadline. Having reviewed these, it said it needs to consult further on outstanding issues.
"In light of these responses, and the significance of the decisions that we need to take--decisions that are likely to shape the future of the mobile sector in the U.K. for the next decade or more--we have decided to undertake a further round of consultation on these issues," it said.
A further consultation paper will be published around the end of the year, with participants then being given about eight weeks to respond. Ofcom plans to publish a statement in the summer of 2012.
This means that the auction itself would then follow a few months later, perhaps starting in the fourth quarter of 2012, Ofcom added. It was originally expected to launch at the beginning of next year, but Ofcom noted that the delay is unlikely to have a significant impact because the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands won't be available for new use until 2013 and will likely not be available in all areas of the U.K. until later in 2013.
In March, Ofcom outlined plans for the auction of fourth generation, or 4G, mobile spectrum, with limits on how much each mobile operator can buy to ensure healthy competition. At the time, Ofcom said it plans to introduce limits on the minimum and maximum amounts of spectrum that bidders can be awarded to ensure that at least four wholesale operators remain in the country.
The 4G mobile spectrum is equivalent to three-quarters of the mobile spectrum in use at present, and there is 80% more spectrum than when 3G was auctioned in 2000, according to Ofcom. The long-awaited auction is expected to provide additional capacity for 4G long-term-evolution technology, which will allow users to watch high-definition video and get much faster download speeds on mobile devices.
Источник: Total Telecom