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Ofcom opens up 2G frequencies for 3G use
Thursday 06 January 2011 11:32:13 by Sebastien Lahtinen

From today, Ofcom is permitting mobile operators to use frequencies allocated for 2G services, for 3G services. This will help to increase coverage and capacity of 3G services which are becoming more popular as increasingly mobile phone users are switching to smartphones. According to Ofcom's Communications Market Report last year, there has been an 81% increase in smartphone use to 12.8 million in May 2010 from the previous year.

The move will benefit users in more remote areas which currently don't receive a strong 3G signal as the 2G bands are in a part of the spectrum which can carry signals further. Also signals inside buildings are likely to improve. Some network operators have previously raised concerns that the current way in which spectrum was awarded made some of these legacy frequencies particularly desirable.

More details on the announcement is available on the Ofcom website.

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Presumably the remote areas will only benefit if/when the required 3G kit or upgrades are installed and the backhaul upgraded to match.
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
Excellent move from OFCOM. Now all they will need to do is stump up the cash to put in the equipment, or upgrade existing equipment in profitable areas to cover more distance into notpots.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
I don't know any not spots but my office and my home and slow-spots. The office is within two miles of the M40 and my home is less than a mile from the A43 and prolly seven from the M40.

Luckily I have access to proper land-line based internet so it doesn't really matter. It's annoying though to want to call someone while out walking and be told that the network is busy - especially if you're in the middle of a farmer's field :(
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Pah, this will just allow the copper cabal to avoid deploying FTTF.

Anyway in the real world good stuff, increasing the reach of 3G is good both now and with LTE in mind.
Posted by timmay over 6 years ago
I wonder how quick the upgrades will be? Will 2G still have to operate alongside 3G at 900Mhz?

Damn just got an iPhone on three, they only have 2.1Ghz. Hopefully they'll get bought out by O2 or Voda and the networks merge. Still probably be a couple of years so will be able to switch network again by then.
Posted by Scuffers over 6 years ago
Until Ofcom actually start to understand the issues involved, realistically, coverage is not going to get significantly better..
Posted by m0aur over 6 years ago
As 900MHz was stolen from radio users, I have no time for any of it.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@m0aur

Internet radio is the future.

Technically we should see O2/Vodafone upgrading their GSM sets doubling capacity/speed.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
hehehe Dixi, you forgot to include a reference to keeping the old phone network alive and contention
Posted by dragon2611 over 6 years ago
Would this require new Handsets or Firmware as well as base stations most handsets look for UTMS on 2100Mhz don't they?
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@dragon2611

Rare to find ones that don't support both actually.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"Will 2G still have to operate alongside 3G at 900Mhz"

yes, obviously. Tens of millions of 2G customers can't just be abandoned overnight.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@herdwick

Bricks are for making houses, not calls :D
Posted by damien001 over 6 years ago
@otester
there are new phones out that run only on 2g, the offer better battery life and signal strength. Also it only a few blackberry that support 3g

I have a new 2g phone in the car. As ii know i can leave it sitting they and don't need to worry about the battery. ITs also smaller than my 3g phone
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@damien001

Battery life isn't a problem so much anymore as the gap is closing fast when it comes to 2G vs 3G.

4G is meant to better for battery life than 3G though and O2 has been trialing it so I think they will stick it on the lower frequency instead of 3G.

Signal strength in regards to 3G/phone is irrelevant as this is frequency dependent.
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