The U.K.'s telecom regulator, Ofcom announced it wants to loosen up restrictions on the spectrum currently used for 2G mobile services. The spectrum includes two tiers: 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. O2 and Vodafone use the 900 MHz slice while O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange make use of the 1800 MHz portion. The current restrictions dictate that these spectrum blocks can only be used for 2G, but Ofcom wants them to be used for 3G services as well. That way, carriers could augment their 3G networks' download speeds, rural coverage and reception inside buildings. Ofcom plans to hold an auction for the spectrum but is currently seeking consultation from interested parties through November.
For more on Ofcom's plans:
- read this report from the BBC