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Ofcom extends 4G coverage plans

Ofcom extends 4G coverage plans

Ofcom has revised proposals for its fourth-generation mobile spectrum auction, adding measures that could bring coverage to 98% of the UK.

The regulator said the winning bidder will have to provide the high-speed coverage to current “not-spot” areas.

It said the measures would help bring fast mobile internet to parts of the country that are underserved.

The bidding process for the spectrum is still scheduled for the end of this year, Ofcom said.

A 10-week consultation period into the revisions will now begin ahead of Ofcom’s final decision on the precise details of the auction.

In a statement, Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: “We are proposing a significant enhancement of mobile broadband, extending 4G coverage beyond levels of existing 2G coverage – helping to serve many areas of the UK that have traditionally been underserved by network coverage.”

Ofcom had previously proposed that a “special condition” be added to oblige the winning bidder to roll out a 4G network to 95% of the UK population.

It now said it wants to extend that reach to 98%, by allowing the mobile operator to effectively piggyback already planned government investment into boosting 2G coverage in remote rural areas.

Ofcom argues this stipulation will encourage the operator to invest in areas that are of most benefit to the UK.

Read More/Source: BBC News

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