UK 4G auction reserve prices proposed, process continues (slowly)

Regular blog readers will be familiar with the long-running saga of the UK 4G auctions. (If you are looking for a speed read, these Ofcom media briefing slides give a rose-tinted view of the current status). On Tuesday this week Ofcom published a statement setting out its decisions on various outstanding issues  and a draft Information Memorandum for bidders. Decisions Promoting … Read more

Ofcom publishes statutory backing for new PhonepayPlus rules

The watcher has been a bit quiet recently – caused by a combination of a business trip to Singapore and a holiday. Despite the holiday period there has been a lot going on including:  yesterday’s UK case on site blocking; the EU Commission’s CEO summit on broadband investment; and the ECJ decision on intermediary liability in L’Oreal … Read more

Ofcom introduce spectrum leasing

Last week Ofcom published its conclusions from its earlier consultation on simplifying spectrum trading by introducing spectrum leasing. The concept is best explained through a couple of pictures from the Ofcom statement: Existing spectrum trading: New spectrum leasing: The pictures demonstrate how the new proposals will simplify the spectrum market in the UK. Leasing will initially … Read more

‘White-spaces’ wi-fi trial in TV spectrum

A consortium including Microsoft, BBC, BT and BSkyB today announced a trial of the use of white-space spectrum for wireless broadband. The trial, mirroring a US trial on Microsoft’s Seattle campus, will start on Wednesday. In contrast to existing licence exempt wi-fi networks that use 2.4 GHz spectrum, the trial’s use of sub-1GHz ‘sweet spot’ spectrum (currently used for … Read more

UK 2G and 3G licences to become tradable from 4 July

Ofcom yesterday finalised proposals to enable trading of 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz spectrum licences (currently held by mobile network operators and used to provide 2G and 3G services). Ofcom has adopted its draft proposal to make trades subject to an ex-ante analysis of whether ‘competition is likely to be distorted’ by a … Read more

Ofcom issue revised penalty guidelines

Ofcom today issued revised guidelines on the penalties they may impose on those breaching rules policed by Ofcom. The new guidelines replace prior guidelines dating from 2003 and apply to a rag-bag of over 40 potential contraventions, although significantly not competition law. In a departure from Ofcom’s default ‘if in doubt write a long document’ … Read more