Thursday, January 29, 2009

Digital Britain - the mobile broadband perspective

The UK's Department of Culture, Media and Sport today published the interim Digital Britain report. Here are a couple of extracts relating specifically to the future of mobile broadband.

Action 6 - We are specifying a Wireless Radio Spectrum Modernisation Programme consisting of five elements:

  • Resolving the future of existing 2G radio spectrum through a structured framework, allowing existing operators to re-align their existing holdings, re-use the spectrum and start the move to next generation mobile services.

  • Making available more radio spectrum suitable for next generation mobile services.

  • Greater investment certainty for existing 3G operators: The Government wishes to encourage the maximum commercially-sensible investment in network capacity and coverage‚Ķ(E)xisting time-limited licences could be made indefinite and subject instead to AIP beyond the end of the current term.

  • Greater network sharing: the Government and Ofcom will consider further network sharing, spectrum or carrier-sharing proposals from the operators, particularly where these can lead to greater coverage and are part of the mobile operator's contribution to a broadband universal service commitment.

  • Commitments by the mobile operators to push out the coverage of mobile broadband eventually to replicate 2G coverage and mark their significant contribution to the broadband universal service commitment.

Action 17 - We will develop plans for a digital Universal Service Commitment to be effective by 2012, delivered by a mixture of fixed and mobile, wired and wireless means. Subject to further study of the costs and benefits, we will set out our plans for the level of service which we believe should be universal.

You can read the industry reaction to the report in this Guardian article.

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