Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Legal Threats Cause Ofcom to Delay UK Auction of 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 (11:21 am) - Score 803
wireless_mobile_network_operator_uk_mast

The UK telecoms regulator has today announced its intention to delay the start of their auction for 190MHz worth of prime Mobile Broadband spectrum in the 2.3GHz (2350MHz to 2390MHz) and 3.4GHz (3410MHz to 3600MHz) bands, which was due to commence this month.

Most of the spectrum, which does not come attached to a coverage obligation (higher frequencies aren’t ideal for coverage focused deployments), was formerly used by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and is now being re-purposed for civil use.

However some have questioned the wisdom of proceeding with the auction before the final results of the two big mobile network merger deals are known. Admittedly the £12.5bn BT and EE merger now looks like a done deal and has already secured provisional approval (here), although the £10.25bn O2 and Three UK deal is in a considerably weaker position (here).

Ofcoms Statement

Since the Statement was published, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) has published its provisional findings on the proposed merger between BT Group plc and EE Limited. The European Commission has also announced its decision to launch an in-depth investigation into the proposed merger between Telefónica UK Limited and Hutchison 3G UK Limited. The CMA’s decision on the proposed merger of BT Group plc and EE Limited is expected in January 2016 and the Commission’s decision on the proposed merger of Telefónica UK Limited and Hutchison 3G UK Limited is expected no later than mid-May 2016.

In addition, on 19 and 20 November 2015, Ofcom received letters from Telefónica UK Limited and Hutchison 3G UK Limited respectively stating their intention to bring judicial review proceedings against Ofcom’s decision to commence the auction process before the outcome of the European Commission’s consideration of the proposed merger between those two companies.

After careful consideration, given these specific circumstances, we have decided for reasons of good public administration to delay commencing the auction process. Therefore, Ofcom will not now commence the auction process until the European Commission has taken its decision as to whether the proposed merger between Telefónica UK Limited and Hutchison 3G UK Limited is compatible with the common market.

Mobile operators are notorious for their use of legal threats to delay auctions or new legislation, which is one of the primary reasons why it took so long for the prior 4G auction (2.6GHz and 800MHz) to begin. Never the less in this case we can somewhat understand O2 and Three UK’s position as it would create an additional complication and at a pivotal moment in their process.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Matt

    Telefonica and 3 desperately need spectrum for 4G. Specially O2 as they have only 2x10MHz for it at present. Three isn’t in a massive advantage in terms of spectrum either. Even a combined 3/O2 would need spectrum to be honest.

  2. Avatar AndrewH

    I agree with Matt.
    They are basically buggered even if they get together.
    They would need whatever they could get and even that probably won’t be enough.
    Three might manage it. O2 are screwed big time.
    Their own fault though.
    Massive under investment over the last few decades.
    Where I am, South Devon, not in least bit remote, in fact quite affluent, only Three and EE have a decent Internet capable cellular network. Three struggling under poor capacity, EE storming ahead.
    Vodafone and O2, forget it. The best Voice (2G) network but virtually no 3G and even less 4G.
    Game over.

  3. Avatar Darren Reid

    It does seem silly to give up the usage rights to such an important part of the spectrum, when you don’t know whose hands they end up in. Am I the only one who thinks selling frequencies off is a bad idea. I feel like an option to rent them would be much preferable, as it means as frequency demands change, the supply can adapt at the same pace.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPER20
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £22.95 (*29.95)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*35.98)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £75 Reward Card
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2724)
  2. FTTP (2619)
  3. FTTC (1759)
  4. Building Digital UK (1708)
  5. Politics (1614)
  6. Openreach (1574)
  7. Business (1391)
  8. FTTH (1317)
  9. Statistics (1209)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1179)
  11. Fibre Optic (1045)
  12. 4G (1017)
  13. Wireless Internet (1002)
  14. Ofcom Regulation (993)
  15. Virgin Media (981)
  16. EE (672)
  17. Sky Broadband (658)
  18. TalkTalk (645)
  19. Vodafone (643)
  20. 5G (476)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact