Eversheds comment: UK telecoms regulator gears up for 4G auction

Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, has drawn up a new series of guidelines ahead of the upcoming auction process for the rights to the next generation of 4G mobile broadband. Now scheduled for the end of 2012, it will be the largest ever auction of spectrum for UK mobile services. James Walsh, telecommunications partner at international law firm Eversheds, comments:

“Despite Ofcom’s statement today, it is still yet to make a decision on whether or not the 1800MHz spectrum that Everything Everywhere has been required to divest as a result of the Orange and T-Mobile merger will form part of the upcoming spectrum auction. A decision from Ofcom is also still pending as to whether or not Everything Everywhere will be permitted to use its remaining spectrum allocation in the 1800MHz band to establish a new 4G network prior to the auction, which others are concerned will give it an unfair head start in launching new 4G services. Whilst some network operators will be content with certain aspects of Ofcom’s decisions today, we cannot expect them to be accepted without further objection.”

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