Operators must commit to mobile broadband

The promotion of 3G is part of Lord Carter's plan
The promotion of 3G is part of Lord Carter's plan

Lord Carter's Digital Britain interim report has several recommendations for mobile wireless networks, including the promotion of 3G to aid in the provision of wireless broadband.

The full Digital Britain report isn't out until June, but the interim report makes several recommendations for the mobile industry, requesting that both the government and mobile operators commit to building a stable framework for the future.

Interim recommendations

  • Resolve the future of existing 2G radio spectrum: "...through a structured framework, allowing existing operators to re-align their existing holdings, re-use the spectrum and start the move to next generation mobile services. This must be achieved whilst maintaining a competitive market. If this can be done, the economic value of the spectrum would be enhanced."
  • Make more radio spectrum available for next generation mobile services: "Ofcom has proposed the release of the so-called 3G expansion band at 2.6GHz. The government will support proposals from Ofcom to play a key role in a pan-European alignment of the Digital Dividend Review Spectrum (the so-called Channel 61-69 band), being released by the progressive switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting, pioneered by the UK. This will free up radio spectrum particularly valuable for next generation mobile services."
  • Greater investment certainty for existing 3G operators: "The government wishes to encourage the maximum commercially-sensible investment in network capacity and coverage. But the further into a fixed term licence one goes the greater the disincentive to invest. We want to resolve this issue now as part of the structured framework.
  • Greater network sharing: "The government and Ofcom will consider further network sharing, spectrum or carrier-sharing proposals from the operators, particularly where these can lead to greater coverage and are part of the mobile operator's contribution to a broadband universal service commitment.
  • A need for commitments from mobile operators: the report asks for "commitments by the mobile operators to push out the coverage of mobile broadband eventually to replicate 2G coverage and mark their significant contribution to the broadband universal service commitment."
Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.