Oct 1, 2017

Ofcom warns legal action by operators threatens 5G services

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has said legal action by BT and Three threatens to derail Britain's "Golden opportunity" to take a lead in the race to launch 5G next-generation mobile services. Writing in the Financial Times, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White publicly addressed for the first time the judicial review of the regulator's mobile spectrum auction rules that has been launched by the two companies. The spectrum auction is considered vital to improving existing 4G signals and preparing the ground to offer 5G as soon as 2020. BT, via it's EE mobile network, had not been expected to oppose the auction rules but decided to intervene after Three's action. Ms White said: "BT/EE's challenge is a wide-ranging attack on our measures to limit its spectrum holding so we can promote competition." She said BT had argued that it was forced to appeal as a "Defensive move" after Three's move but that it had in fact challenged Ofcom on a new set of grounds that could undermine the auction.

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