back to article T-Orange: It is possible to have too much spectrum

The merger of T-Mobile and Orange means combining their spectrum holdings, throwing Digital Britain into confusion and putting the Digital Dividend at risk. Digital Britain's promise of broadband for all is based on permitting 3G services at lower frequencies, which means reallocating those frequencies between the existing …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    don't talk to me about Orange

    Their entire UK broadband has gone down overnight, probably in disgust at the merger.

  2. MrAFuller

    Flippin' heck. Messing with OFCOM: NO!

    Why the heck do the conservatives want to mess with OFCOM; at least they actually get things done.

  3. Gideon 1
    Thumb Up

    Step back

    It might all make sense in the end. Each operator has its own band to play in, only needs one set of basestation equipment, one set of aerials. They'd be able to simplify down the profusion of standards and equipment, especially as only one Software Defined Radio basestation on one band would be needed at each tower.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Excess spectrum?

    1.8 is still usable for fixed broadband replacement. Not perfect, worse than 900, but still feasible for fixed clients with good high gain antennas.

    So there are two alternatives here - T-Orange selling it off as suggested in the article and T-Orange gunning for BT core business + Digital Britain subsidy with a very high chance of success using 3G/LTE for fixed access or abusing the frequency for (gasp...) Wi-Max.

    Having this amount of spectrum is not a threat to other mobile operators as long as they maintain their current business model - voice + data as ubiquity, not data as speed.

    It however allows a different business model - ubiquitous pan-UK high speed data. It allows T-O to provide a high speed data service to all of Britain which is an obvious threat to the fixed line operators and unbundlers. This is also good news for Arquiva. If T-O decides to go for this they will not be decomissioning most of the spare cell sites.

  5. Lloyd
    WTF?

    Don't know about T-Orange

    But Voda's blackberry service has been down all morning.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Tesco's...

    ...they've billions of pound of cash not doing much. They currently have a piggy backed servive, maybe they would like dabble...

  7. Robert Hill

    Not sure about "no use for the spectrum"...

    I have watched the recent network failures at O2 on both 3G and 2G networks with alarm, and we all know that it is due to the popularity of smartphones. Yes, it's the iPhone today, but give a year and the influx of Android, WebOS, et al handsets with 3" screens and decent browsers and app stores will make all networks suffer - to say nothing about USB 3G dongles.

    Given the delays in rolling out LTE (alias 4G), I think that every network is being forced to reconsider just how much spectrum they need/want/can afford to deal with the vast increase of data useage on 3G.

    Suggestion to T-Orange - if you have useable spectrum, KEEP IT and use it. Spare yourselves the future embarassment and brand damage that O2 (and AT&T in the US) are suffering...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Screw regulation

    Let's deregulate, get rid of Ofcom and let the networks fight it out, Darwin-stylee; the victor would be the one who was best able to strike deals with the others whilst maintaining the highest market share, due to simple low-priced tariffs, and with their subsequent buying power, fantastic phone choice.

    We might see a bit of downtime (perhaps a year) and such frivolous thing such as frequency jamming between cutthroat networks, but as a nation we'd emerge gloriously (and perhaps a few billion shorter due to reduced productivity). But it would make me happy as I'm trying to choose a smartphone and network and it's naffing me off.

    I'm not sure if I should use the coat icon or not as I'm half serious about this. Maybe I should just get an IPhone, give up hope of future independent thought, and join the fanboy zombie legion...

    AC as I know that (assuming that Big Sister doesn't zap this post) some fool's going to take this seriously despite the coatage...

  9. CaptainBlue
    FAIL

    OrangeBerry

    Yup. No e-mail or SMS on my OrangeBerry all day.

  10. Anna Logg
    Boffin

    a point of clarification:-

    >>Running down the dial to 1800MHz, Orange and T-Mobile each have 60MHz of spectrum >>around here, which carries their 2G services. Combining those holdings gives 120MHz of >>spectrum, which is certainly more than the company will need.

    Presumably this spectrum can currently only be used for GSM1800; and is effectively paired - a 30 MHz chunk from each operator in the downlink band ( 1805 -1880 MHz) and a 30 MHz chunk each in the uplink band ( 1710 -1785 MHz)

  11. Richard Jones 1

    New Name and New Service - Lemon

    Let me see, now that is too much spectrum and not enough service, ah yes that will be orange (with or without added T-Mobile), now let us forget the name combinations and just call the new shower Lemon.

    Richard

  12. Bill Ray (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: a point of clarification:-

    30MHz for each direction is indeed correct, though the limitation that only allows for the deployment of GSM is likely to disappear very soon.

    If T-Orange is going to sell off half of it the new owner might well want to deploy something more interesting in the space, and Ofcom is unlikely to prevent that, which is why I describe it as 60MHz of spectrum rather than two channels of 30MHz each.

    Bill.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @ Richard Jones 1

    Does that mean they'll celebrate the launch with a 'Lemon Party' ?

    (For god's sake don't Google that if you're at work!)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    RE: (For god's sake don't Google that if you're at work!)

    I had to see what it was, and quickly press back when it appeared :)

  15. Steve Kennedy

    UK01

    I'm sure UK01 would be interested in the spectrum and may now well be in a position to fund the purchase of spectrum if it became available (note UK01's parent is Mundio Mobile) and it is my understanding that UK01 will be able to offer national services with a UK roaming agreement coming into force early next month.

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