British telco regulator Ofcom has plans to improve the uptake of 3G in the UK by changing some of the regulations. The BBC reports: “One, operating at 900Mhz, is only used by O2 and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD). The other, at 1800Mhz, is used by those two companies plus Orange and T-Mobile. Ofcom imposes restrictions on these frequencies which mean they can only be used for 2G…If Ofcom’s proposals win support, the 900Mhz frequency will be available for three other operators to use and both chunks of spectrum will be allowed to support both second and third generation services.” If it goes off as planned it should let the carriers increase the data-carrying capacity of their networks with relatively little investment. The carriers will also be able to trade the rights to use the spectrum to other companies. The plan also calls for another auction, with the carriers giving up a part of the spectrum they own to get to use the rest for 3G, reports Financial Times.
In semi-related news, Vodafone and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have stated they will work towards a common mobile network technology so their users can roam on each others’ networks, reports Reuters. Vodafone uses HSDPA and Verizon Wireless uses EV-DO, and both will aim towards LTE. “It might be the year 2015 or so before complete integration occurs but are we headed toward the same platform? Yes, we are,” Vodafone Chief Executive Arun Sarin told a Goldman Sachs investor conference on Wednesday.” It doesn’t sound like he’s considering a parting of the ways anytime soon in regards to the JV between Verizon and Vodafone in the US.
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