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UK: Three takes Ofcom to court over 5G spectrum auction

 |  September 5, 2017

Three has followed through on its threat to take Ofcom to court. The mobile network operator, owned by Hutchison Whampoa, is unhappy with the planned rules for the next spectrum auction. It believes they’re too gentle and will allow BT, EE and Vodafone to increase their dominance of UK airwaves, stifling competition in the process.

“We confirm that we have filed a judicial review before the UK courts in relation to the competition measures that will apply in the upcoming spectrum auction,” a Three spokesperson told Engadget. “It is absolutely vital that the regulator gets this auction right for the long-term benefit of all consumers.”

At present, BT and EE own 42% of mobile spectrum. Vodafone is close behind with 29%, while Three and O2 have 15 and 14%, respectively.

Ofcom has 190 MHz of spectrum to auction; 40 MHz in a 2.3 GHz band, which could be used by networks immediately to improve 4G services, and 150 MHz of spectrum in a 3.4 GHz band, which will be pivotal for 5G connectivity in the future.

The regulator has proposed a 255 MHz cap on all “immediately useable” spectrum, which would disqualify BT and EE from the 2.3 GHz band auction. So far, so good for Three.

Full Content: The Register

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