Ofcom publishes statements on mobile spectrum trading and 3G licence variation

In February 2011, Ofcom consulted on its proposals to establish new regulations and to make tradable the licences for mobile spectrum (900, 1800, and 2100 MHz) and on variations to the third generation (2100 MHz) (3G) licence. On 20 June 2011, Ofcom published two statements in relation to its consultation and the comments it received on these proposals, which Ofcom intends will give effect to the provisions of the The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (Directions to OFCOM) Order 2010 (the WTA 2006 Order).  

The first statement sets out Ofcom’s decision to establish the Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Spectrum Trading) Regulations 2011 and the Wireless Telegraphy (Register) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2011. These regulations sanction the trading of rights to use 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz mobile spectrum, in accordance with the WTA 2006 Order. Additionally, the regulations permit Ofcom to consider whether competition is likely to be distorted when deciding whether to consent to a trade of rights to use mobile spectrum.  

The second statement sets out various changes to the 3G licences that are required to execute features of the UK Government's direction to Ofcom, as set out in the WTA 2006 Order. The changes include a new licence duration, a revised coverage obligation, and a provision allowing Ofcom to charge annual licence fees from 31 December 2021.