Our thoughts on Government plans for spectrum reform

O2 welcomed the publication of Kip Meek’s report back in May on how to resolve the longstanding issues surrounding allocation of spectrum among the UK mobile operators.

It was a good piece of work in which he successfully built consensus among the operators. Everyone had to give ground and Kip Meek was able to reach an acceptable compromise that worked in a five player market.

However, since the publication of Kip Meek’s report in May the landscape has been changed significantly by the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Orange. The resulting concentration of 1800MHz spectrum in one combined company is not compatible with one of the key policy objectives behind Kip Meek’s proposals, “sustaining competition in the UK market by taking proportionate steps to limit the concentration of mobile suitable spectrum”.

This must be addressed by the Government and the competition authorities that will review the proposed merger, if the consensus that underpins the proposed Direction is to be maintained.

To see more about the government's plans, click here.