Broadband News

Ofcom goes all liberal on bits of the 3G spectrum

Ofcom allowed EE a variation to the rules for a chunk of its spectrum that has allowed them to steal a march on other operators, by being the first 4G mobile service in the UK and with the 4G spectrum auction over the rest of the operators should hopefully be announcing products and pricing, rather than the current wave of 3.5G, 3.9G and other marketing gimmicks to sell the faster 3G variants.

As part of an attempt to give the mobile operators some freedom to operate, Ofcom has varied the licences on the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands to allow operators to use 4G technology. We don't expect a big rush to turn off 3G and convert bands to 4G, but operators now have the scope to support a wider range of handsets e.g. the iPhone 5 which currently only runs at 4G speeds with EE in the 1800 MHz band might get some of the 2100 MHz band from some operators.

Another variation is that the 900 MHz band has had its maximum permitted power doubled (3dB rise) which should help to overcome not-spots that can exist almost anywhere from the big cities to a small dip in a road or a railway cutting.


They can't get full 3G coverage so there is no chance with 4G and to turn of 3g would make a lot of people unhappy, so that is not going to happen for a while.

  • zyborg47
  • over 7 years ago


Frequency decides the range not the technology.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

Frequency has some bearing, higher frequencies tend to shorter ranges. But power (erp) is a factor too, more power gives longer range. And then there are hills and building to consider as well as vegetation as trees can seriously affect transmission range. Similar to the problems being experienced by DTV viewers at present as atmospheric conditions also affect transmission and reception, especially with hot weather in high pressure systems. All have been shown to affect digital and analogue systems.

  • michaels_perry
  • over 7 years ago

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