Lord Carter Wants Mobile Networks To Solve Spectrum Disputes

In a bid to achieve his ambition of universal broadband in Britain by 2012, Lord Carter, the minister for communications has called a meeting with executives of five prominent mobile phone networks in UK in order to discuss several pertinent issues.

Reports suggest that Lord Carter has chosen Kip Meek, who currently heads the advisory panel of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, to facilitate the discussions that are expected to start on Thursday.

Among Lord Carter’s major priorities include getting Vodafone and O2 to part with a share of airwaves that they received in the 1980s in order to provide a level playing ground for rivals like T-Mobile and Orange for their mobile broadband offerings

It is interesting to note when the telecom regulator Ofcom had mentioned that both Vodafone and O2 can be made to part with their share of airwaves, it was met with a strong legal challenge.

Incidentally Lord Carter has publicly expressed the view that he prefers an industry led compromise failing which government may need to come up with a solution.

Both the companies has expressed their reservations over handing over any share of their spectrum in the 900 Mhz frequency band without receiving any compensation from the government in form of airwaves in another suitable frequency band.

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Our Comments

It looks as if the mobile phone sector is on the verge of a consolidation rush. There are already strong hints that this will happen sooner rather than later. BT, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Three could all be involved to some extent. Current economic conditions mean that telecom companies will need to cut their costs and sharing their resources could well come into play.

Related Links

UK mobile operators meet to discuss spectrum swaps

(Telecom Paper)

Mobile networks called to government talks on broadband for all

(The Guardian)

Lord Carter to meet mobile operators to clear the way for universal broadband

(Computer Weekly)

Government Moves to End Mobile Broadband Spectrum Dispute

(ISP Review)

Move to end broadband access row

(The Financial Times)

Mobile heavyweights mass to get Carter over 2Meg for all

(The Register)