Oh dear, OFCOM’s now meddling with how networks upgrade their networks

According to a GSMA Mobile Business Breifing article, OFCOM has ruled in a Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) that O2 and Vodafone UK don’t have an automatic right to refarm their 900MHz 2G spectrum to provide 3G services in line with several European Commission directives that call for pan European harmonisation of spectrum by May 2010.

This is further slowing access to 3G mobile broadband and it’s no surprise to see the OFCom move has been supported by 3 UK, Orange and T-Mobile (operators that don’t have a 900MHz allocation which could be used for 3G).

With network holes all over the place, why doesn’t OFCOM leave the networks to do what they think is best and maybe worry about the Everything Everywhere implementation (a network sharing offering from Orange and T-Mobile)? Instead of just letting customers get on with using whichever network works best at any given time/location the operators are putting customers through what is probably the most bizarre set of loops I’ve ever seen… starting with an “eligibility check” that involves a 4 step process and doesn’t involve a mobile optimised website:

See if I can sign up? Surely “Everything AllOverThePlace” would be a better description…

About David Doherty

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