Cellular & 3G Telephony
(ii) What is a Mobile Phone?
(iii) Digital vs Analogue
(iv) Further Information
2. UK 2G Cellular Operators
3. UK Third-Generation (3G) Operators
4. UK Cellular Frequency Ranges
5. Other Sources Of Information
Cellular telephony was initially developed for mobile business communications, but now also has an increasing emphasis on public social and leisure uses. Pre-packaged cellphone access is becoming increasingly popular for occasional users and young people. Functionality has developed to the point where the integration of voice and data (such as using cellphones with fax modems or laptop PC data transfer) now overlaps the data markets, and the software development of closed user groups affects CBS/PAMR/TETRA markets.
(ii) What Is a Mobile Phone?
A mobile phone is simply a wireless version of a fixed telephone that is connected to the public phone network. Because of this flexibility, users of mobile phones can make or take calls almost anywhere within the UK and, through roaming onto other networks, abroad.
There are various technologies used within the mobile phone world. Currently, digital technology known as Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is used by the four network operators in two frequency ranges centred around 900 MHz and 1800 MHz respectively.
(iii) Digital Vs Analogue
GSM was developed to improve the quality and the flexibility of first-generation analogue mobile phone services, and to standardise the technology needed to allow mobile phones to make and receive calls when the user is travelling abroad. Compared with first-generation mobile phones, GSM (also called second-generation or 2G) offers better speech quality, confidentiality, built-in PIN (Personal Identity Number) security and the option of international roaming. Evolution of GSM phones to incorporate technologies (known as 2½G or 2.5G) such as Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) allows enhanced multimedia services such as web-browsing and picture messaging.
(iv) Further Information
Further information on cellular networks can be found on the following RA web pages:
Mobile Phone Base Stations - Frequently Asked Questions
Mobile Phone Base Stations - How Mobile Phone Networks Work
Mobile Phones: Jargon Explained
Sitefinder (Mobile Base Station Database)
United Kingdom Table of Radio Frequency Allocations 9 kHz - 105 GHz
If you have any further queries relating to cellular telephony in the UK, please contact the Public Wireless Networks Unit on 020 7211 0354 or email email@example.com
If you have any other queries, please contact the RA Enquiry Point on 020 7211 0211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. UK 2G CELLULAR OPERATORS
In the UK there are four national cellular operators.
O2 (UK) Ltd
T Mobile (UK) Ltd
Tel: 020 8905 1001
Personal Communication Services Ltd
St John's Court
Tel: 01454 624600
Apart from these national UK cellular operators there are also three "regional" cellular operators which provide cellular services for specific geographical areas:
Tel: 01481 700700
Tel: 01534 31311
Manx Telecom Limited
Tel: 01624 633633
3. UK THIRD-GENERATION (3G) OPERATORS
In the UK there are five national third-generation (3G) operators.
O2 Third Generation Limited
Switchboard: 0113 272 2000
Hutchison 3G Limited
Telephone: 01628 765000
Orange Personal Communication
Tel: 01454 624600
T Mobile (UK) Limited
Telephone: 01707 315000
Telephone: 01635 33251
4. UK CELLULAR FREQUENCY RANGES
GSM 900 Frequency Range:
Mobile transmit (BTx) 880 - 915 MHz
Base transmit (MTx) 925 - 960 MHz
GSM 1800 Frequency Range:
Mobile transmit (BTx) 1710 - 1785
Base transmit (MTx) 1805 - 1880 MHz
Third-Generation (3G) Frequency Range:
Base transmit (BTx) 2110 - 2170 MHz
Mobile transmit (MTx) 1920 - 1980 MHz
BTx / MTx In TDD (Time Division Duplex) 1900 - 1920 MHz
The specific frequencies in use by the UK cellular systems may also be found at www.ero.dk under "Frequency Plans" and then "GSM Spectrum Use".
5. OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Department of Trade and Industry - Communications and Information Industries (CII) Directorate
UK Office of Telecommunications (Oftel)
Guernsey Office of Utility Regulation (OUR)
Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA)
European Radio Office
National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB)
International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)
World Health Organisation (WHO)
Department of Health
Stewart Report ("Mobile Phones and Health")
The text of UK legislation is available from the HMSO
A full listing of RA supplementary legislation can be found at