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UK regulator consults on 700 MHz and coverage obligations

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UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced a consultation on its plans to introduce coverage obligations as part of the upcoming sale of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, notes TeleGeography. “Saying that it has a ‘duty to ensure the wide availability of communications services to citizens and consumers’, the regulator has claimed that current levels of mobile coverage are not meeting consumers’ needs, citing its ‘Connected Nations 2017’ report, which it said showed that coverage was particularly poor in rural areas. As such, in arguing that the technical characteristics of the 700 MHz band make it suitable for improving mobile coverage, Ofcom has said it plans to attach coverage obligations to some of the licences that will be awarded.”

Specifically, it has proposed setting three coverage obligations, one focusing on where people live – the premises obligation – a second focused on improving outdoor coverage across the UK’s land mass, and a third, effectively placing more stringent obligations on boosting coverage at the “constituent nation” level. As per the premises obligation, the successful bidder would be required to deliver good quality in-building coverage to 60% of the 200,000 residential and business premises in rural areas that Ofcom has predicted will lack good indoor coverage from any mobile operator at the time of the 700 MHz auction, which is scheduled to take place in 2019. Read more

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

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