Ofcom published a Notice proposing to vary the existing 900 MHz and 1800 MHz licences to allow UMTS use on 28 October 2010. Ofcom is required to vary the licences in this way as a result of a direction to Ofcom made by the Secretary of State (the Government Direction).
The Government Direction was made on 20 December 2010 and came into force on 30 December 2010.
Ofcom has considered all the responses to its Notice. It has decided to vary the licences in line with its proposal in the Notice subject to some minor changes to the drafting of the licences, which are explained below.
Subsequent to Ofcom's circulation of the Red-M report to those directly impacted, Network Rail conducted its own campaign of field testing to better understand the practical implications upon GSM-R of the UMTS900 interferer scenarios identified in the report. During this work, Network Rail has told us that it became aware of what appear to be interference effects which aren't characterised in the Red-M report. As a consequence of this, we understand that Network Rail has subcontracted further work to Red-M to allow it to better understand the behaviour of the GSM-R mobile in a multi-carrier and multi-technology environment. Based on the current body of evidence, we consider this published co-ordination procedure to be appropriate. However, we will review the additional information as it is made available by Network Rail.
Ofcom has published a Decision on the Requests for Variation of 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz Mobile Licences published 9th July 2013 which permits the use of 4G technology and an increased carrier power for services operating in the 900 MHz band with a potential effect on GSM-R services.
As such, we have updated the existing coordination procedure between UMTS900 operators and GSM-R to include reference to sites operating 4G technology (LTE or WiMAX) in line with the revised licence conditions.