Ofcom Seeks Faster Mobile Broadband From Vodafone, O2 2G Spectrum

Ofcom has published a consultation proposing a relaxation of rules governing use of mobile spectrum (see release and consultation). The regulator said it wanted to allow mobile networks to trade and improve portions of spectrum, mostly along the 900MHz band used by Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) and O2. That is a 2G band and Ofcom’s proposal would drop restrictions that limit the networks from adding 3G capacity to it. Bottom line – this will mean faster and more plentiful mobile broadband around the country, Ofcom said. The new-look network could bring mobile broadband from its currently patchy regional status up to 99 percent of the country. Vodafone and O2 would also be forced to give up some of the spectrum to Ofcom, which will auction it back to others in 2009 for high-speed services.