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UK operators set up joint spectrum company
18 October 2012
All four UK mobile operators set up new company to manage 800MHz spectrum to prevent digital TV interference
The UK’s four mobile operators have set up a company to make best use of LTE spectrum in the new 800 megahertz band so that it minimises interference with other services.
The four companies — EE, Telefónica O2, Three and Vodafone — say the new company, Digital Mobile Spectrum, will allow new operators to join if they win spectrum in the band in the UK’s forthcoming auction. The company — which has been set up with the blessing of the government and the regulator, Ofcom — will be run by Andrew Pinder, a former government official who was in overall charge of the Tony Blair administration’s IT policies.
Pinder commented: “I will continue to work with all of the mobile operators and other stakeholders to get plans in place for the rapid launch of 4G services on the spectrum to be auctioned next year.”
Digital Mobile Spectrum will manage the use of LTE services in the 800 megahertz band, which has been freed by the end of analogue TV services. Some have expressed fears that LTE will interfere with the digital TV signals in nearby bands.
Maria Miller, the UK’s new secretary of state for culture, media and sport , said: “ I am pleased that the mobile operators will be working together to ensure that no viewers lose their television services when 4G is rolled out, and congratulate them on setting up the assistance scheme so quickly.”
The UK operators expect to start LTE services in the band early in 2013. Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: “The 4G auction is already on track to begin at the end of the year and the creation of Digital Mobile Spectrum ahead of time represents yet another step towards bringing consumers early access to the next generation of mobile broadband services.”
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