Mobile and wireless broadband


Mobile (cellular)

A mobile phone (cellphone) is a wireless user station that connects to the public phone network by a radio link. 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. The term public means that the network is accessible to all and not for the exclusive use a closed group of people.

Cellular telephony was initially developed for mobile business communications and has developed over time also for social and leisure uses including voice, messaging and data such as internet access and multimedia applications.

Broadband wireless

Broadband wireless access (BWA) systems are a means of making connections between users’ devices or systems and telecommunication networks. They may deliver a range of electronic traffic including telephony, high speed data, television and multimedia services. BWA systems commonly deliver services to fixed locations such as the user’s home or office. Some BWA technologies, such as WiMAX, LTE, HSPA etc. have developed over time and are capable of delivering services to unspecified points within a local area.

Ofcom has received an application from EE Limited to trade its unpaired 2.6 GHz spectrum (2595-2620 MHz) from its Spectrum Access licence no. 1191194 to Telefonica UK Limited.

The proposed trade is being considered by Ofcom under the Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Spectrum Trading) Regulations 2011 (as amended in 2013, 2015 and 2019, “the 2011 Regulations”) and in accordance with Ofcom’s usual spectrum trading processes.  Under regulation 8, Ofcom’s consent is required before the spectrum in these bands can be traded.  In determining whether or not to consent to a proposed transfer, one of the things that Ofcom takes into account is whether competition is likely to be distorted as a result of the transfer.  Our initial view is that there would be a low risk of competition concerns resulting from this trade.

In relation to this proposed trade, Ofcom has determined that the requirements (under regulation 7(1) of the 2011 Regulations) which concern the description of the parties and details of the proposed trade have been met.  Ofcom is now inviting interested parties to submit comments by 30 October 2020 detailing any competition concerns they might have about the proposed trade, as set out in the Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Spectrum Trading) Regulations 2011.

The details of the proposed transfers will be posted on Ofcom’s Transfer Notification Register.

Submissions should be sent to: spectrum.tradingdesk@ofcom.org.uk.