Ofcom Consultation – Response Highlights

All public responses to the Ofcom consultation on ‘Enabling Opportunities for Innovation’ are now live on their website. As we mentioned in our earlier blog post, we are supportive of most of the suggestions that have been made. Here are some highlights from the other responses:

Vodafone UK “recognise that the big four mobile operators do not have a monopoly on ideas when it comes to improving coverage, and we welcome community initiatives that can extend the footprint of mobile service.” “We have been working to devise a reference structure whereby community initiatives provide a neutrally-hosted access layer for the national mobile networks.” read more

Kent City Council “would like to see Ofcom establish a database, similar to white spaces, covering the locations and the frequencies that are being used. This will allow gaps to be identified where a frequency is not being used in a particular location. We believe that this would support applications for local licences and encourage more innovative use of the spectrum available.” read more

Federated Wireless “note that Ofcom has set out two different licensing approaches in this consultation – one for bands previously awarded to mobile operators and another for three bands where there is limited incumbent usage. Ofcom suggests that the first would be an application process leading to a 3 year entitlement and that the second would be a form of hyper-local licensing. We suggest that the same approach should be used for both scenarios and that this approach be based on dynamic sharing using automated database access.” “With regard to the previously awarded mobile bands, [we] support Ofcom’s proposal to enable new entrants to access spectrum that has been undeployed by current licensees” read more

DenseAir Ltd “..believe that allocating a portion of 3.6-3.8GHz to neutral host operators would allow new market entrants with innovative 5G service offerings to complement the current MNOs.” “For the national MNO’s, this spectrum is clearly a capacity infill tool, which has been tactically deployed in high usage locations. The Local Access License will allow this valuable spectrum asset to be used for other purposes.” read more

techUK “While it is far from clear the extent to which the MNOs are failing to address demand which is commercially viable, it is quite possible that some of this unmet demand could be met by third parties… e.g. a community-based operator.” “Rural areas often have factors affecting their demand for connectivity which are substantially different from urban and inner suburban areas where MNOs first look to deploy infrastructure. Ofcom is to therefore be congratulated for proposing such a radical shift in terms of access to mobile spectrum.” read more

Facebook “supports Ofcom’s proposal to allow access to awarded mobile spectrum where it is not in use, but suggests that Ofcom establish: (i) a ‘use or share’ requirement on incumbent licensees regarding unused spectrum in unserved and underserved areas and (ii) buildout obligations on new Local Access licensees.” read more

Cisco UK & Ireland “endorses the policy goals of this consultation in that spectrum sharing can put more radio spectrum to work, and if regulations are properly designed, enable multiple business models and interests to utilize mobile technologies in innovative ways. We are also excited to see Ofcom laying the groundwork for future dynamic access sharing models, which we believe are important to deliver the full benefits of spectrum to consumers as demand for spectrum continues to rise.” read more

The University of Strathclyde “believe that 5G presents an opportunity to explore new ways of doing things, and that it should be more than simply an extension of 4G or 3G or 2G. We include within this view innovative business models incorporating concepts such as neutral hosting and national roaming, as well as innovative ways of sharing of spectrum for the benefit of the people and businesses of the UK. This is closely aligned with DCMS’s Statement of Strategic Priorities (SSP) and its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR). There exists a clear opportunity to deliver on several of these through an ambitious and innovative approach in the upcoming spectrum awards and in spectrum policy in general.” read more