Ofcom were directed by the government at the end of last year to enable spectrum trading to occur which would facilitate mobile network operators to trade all or part of their frequencies used for mobile telephony and data services using the 900Mhz, 1800Mhz and 2100MHz frequency bands. In response to this, Ofcom has released a consultation on spectrum trading. Enabling operators to trade spectrum will allow them to use it more efficiently, perhaps pooling frequencies to allow faster mobile-data services, or improving coverage in rural areas.
"This is an important milestone in the modernisation of spectrum management in the UK."
It comes in response to the fast pace of change and innovation taking place in the mobile communications sector, which is placing increased demands on spectrum.
One important way of meeting this demand is making the acquisition of spectrum as flexible as possible."Ed Richards, (Chief Executive) Ofcom
Ofcom are proposing that partial trades be allowed which would see only partial frequencies of a license being moved to another operator or trades in only a specific geographic area. This could allow one operator to use another operators frequencies in an area where the second operator does not wish to deploy their network.
The consultation is open till the 17 March 2011 following which Ofcom plan to allow trading as soon as possible.