The 4 main UK mobile operators, along with the UK Government and Ofcom released a statement this morning which takes us another step closer to an accelerated 4G launch in the UK.
O2, Vodafone, EE and Three have jointly formed a company, Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited, which has the task of ensuring a smooth transition of the 800MHz spectrum band to 4G services and away from digital TV signals.
The company has been formed to ensure consumers do not experience TV interference or loss of signal once the spectrum is being used by the mobile operators and to clear the spectrum as soon as possible for the mobile operators. We were pleased to read that the company would be funded by the successful bidders of the upcoming spectrum auction and not by the UK tax payer.
The creation of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL) will now “further accelerate the roll out of competitive 4G services next year”. Andrew Pinder, who has been named as interim chariman of DMSL, has said in a statement that this “represents a real milestone and I will continue to work with all of the mobile operators and other stakeholders to get plans in place for the rapid launch of 4G services on the spectrum to be auctioned next year”.
Andrew Pinder is suitably qualified for the post, having held many high profile executive posts in the public and private sector relating to IT. He held the post of Chairman of Becta (a government agency, funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families which oversees the e-strategy for Education and supports information and communications technology (ICT) and e-learning in schools and colleges) from January 2006 to January 2009 among other management consultancy assignments for the UK government.
Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, praised the announcement today, “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.”