Optical/IP Networks

What Ofcom Giveth...

NOON -- U.K. regulator Ofcom wants to take back some 900 MHz spectrum licensed to Vodafone UK and Telefónica UK Ltd. and auction it off to up to three other operators in 2009. Ofcom also wants to let operators use 900 MHz spectrum, as well as 1800 MHz, for 3G services. Only 2G services are currently allowed in these ranges. (See Ofcom Tackles Spectrum Usage.)

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is reportedly interested, so this must be big. (See Google Eyeing UK Broadband?)

An industry source tells Unstrung that Three UK is more interested in this refarmed spectrum than the upcoming 2.6 GHz auction early next year.

Ofcom will be among the first European regulators to open 2G spectrum for 3G services -- so-called "spectrum re-farming" -- ahead of a European Commission decision to make this possible across Europe. (See Arcep Approves 900MHz 3G, Spectrum up for Grabs in Europe, and 3 Group Seeks Spectrum Compensation.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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