The UK’s ‘big four’ mobile phone operators - EE, Telefónica O2, Three and Vodafone - have formed a jointly-controlled company called Digital Mobile Spectrum. It’ll help any households experiencing TV signal interference when 4G mobile services are introduced on the 800MHz frequency band.
The new ‘interference mitigation’ company, which was originally known as MitCo, will have Andrew Pinder as its interim chairman. Mr Pinder, the chairman of premium phone services regulator PhonepayPlus, was tasked with leading the Mitco preparation team earlier this year.
Digital Mobile Spectrum Ltd will be funded by the successful bidders for 800MHz spectrum in next year’s 4G auction. Any mobile operator that wins 4G 800MHz spectrum and isn’t already part of the company can immediately become a shareholder.
Creating the company will help speed up the rollout of 4G services next year. Most homes won’t have their TV signal affected by 4G mobile service on the 800MHz spectrum, although hundreds of thousands of homes are expected to need some assistance. The majority of affected TV viewers will be able to fit a free filter, although some may require an engineer’s visit.
Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, said “This is further evidence of the progress that is being made by the industry, guided by Ofcom, to deliver 4G mobile services across the UK. The 4G auction is already on track to begin at the end of the year and the creation of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited ahead of time represents yet another step towards bringing consumers early access to the next generation of mobile broadband services.”
Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited currently has its registered office at Vodafone’s HQ building in Newbury.