UK Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, has today launched a programme of measures for radio spectrum modernisation. It's a simplified version of plans that were proposed by the previous Government but didn't become law due to the General Election.
Ofcom will coordinate a combined auction of 2.6GHz and 800MHz spectrum at the end of 2011, enabling the launch of high-speed mobile broadband services.
Existing 2G spectrum at 900MHz and 1800MHz will be liberalised, enabling operators to use these frequencies for 3G technologies.
The UK's 3G licences will become indefinite and tradable but will have an annual licence fee from 2022.
Ed Vaizey MP said "The past 20 years has seen a revolution in mobile technologies and devices that have transformed the way we communicate, learn and do business. We want the UK market to remain at the fore of delivering devices like the iPad and smart phones but they need the networks to continue to improve and increase services. Under our plans, our mobile industry will have access to the 21st Century infrastructure it needs to give UK consumers the latest technologies and even better coverage for broadband on their mobile phones."
[Draft order: The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (pdf)]