updated 06:09 am EST, Mon February 4, 2013
UK carriers may be allowed to roll out 4G LTE outside of auction
United Kingdom telecommunications regulator Ofcom is considering the prospect of allowing carriers to reuse existing spectrum for LTE-based services, such as those offered by EE. Such a proposal from Ofcom would potentially offer more spectrum for the faster network services than its current 4G spectrum auction could provide, with little in the way of extra licensing cost for phone networks.
A report states the regulator has been asked by Vodafone and Three UK to lift the limitations on the 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 2100MHz spectrum, in order to allow the faster connections. Vodafone and O2 have also requested for the 900MHz licenses to be adapted, allowing transmissions to be increased in power by 2 decibels, according to The Next Web.
Ofcom hopes that the liberalization of currently-operating spectrum to allow for these LTE services will extend the total bandwidth available to carriers, when used in conjunction with spectrum gained through the 800MHz and 2.6GHz auctions currently taking place. The move will ensure there are "no regulatory barriers to the deployment of the latest available mobile technology."
Consultations with stakeholders over the spectrum liberalization plans will continue until March 29th, with the public being informed of it's decision by the second quarter of 2013.