back to article UK mobile network Vodafone channels its inner stroppy teen, begs government to cancel upcoming 5G auction

Vodafone has urged the UK government to cancel Ofcom's upcoming 5G spectrum auction, where carriers can bid for access to the 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands. The telco had argued the regulator should take a different approach, with operators paying a set price for access and spectrum evenly distributed. Speaking to The Reg, …

  1. Timto

    Who needs 5g?

    Instead of auctioning it off to the highest bidder. They should 'auction' it to whoever is willing to give the highest % coverage.

    Also, why do we need 5g?

    Since our Chinese friends have so much influence, why not just give more frequencies to 4g and let them upgrade to 5g if they want, in the future, or not. Who cares?

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: Who needs 5g?

      You think our problems with the Chinese started with 5G? Nope. They've been noticed by the mainstream media and the politicians more since 5G started, but Huawei have been installing hardware and software in our mobile and fixed line networks since at least the early 2000s.

      1. TheInstigator

        Re: Who needs 5g?

        If you feel strongly enough about a subject you should proceed regardless of cost - if cost is a factor then you don't feel strongly enough about a subject to invoke real change.

        As an example there was a point where the cost of new paper was lower than the cost of recycled paper, so recycling paper didn't make any sense for that amount of time. Regardless of whether it made commercial sense or not, if you feel strongly enough for the environment then you should go on regardless.

        Same with this tech - if Huawei is such a danger - rip all the equipment out - if it affects communication so be it - at least there will be no Chinese interference.

        In fact lets send all Chinese back to China - they then will retaliate by sending expelling all British people from their country. Please let me know what other country's peoples you don't like ? Let's do the same ...

        Can you see that at some point this strategy might not work very well?

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Who needs 5g?

      why do we need 5g?

      To watch pr0n in 4K on mobiles ^^

  2. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The UK government will be looking to make as much £ as they can from auctioning off the 5G spectrum considering how much money they are spending on the corona virus. So I doubt they will be willing to cancel the auction.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge
      Joke

      Reading elsewhere it would seem the UK Government/Ofcom think the auction might bring out a new entrant... odds on China Telecom?

      Being the UK, odds on them actually winning some spectrum, but being required to deliver using non-Huawei kit...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Presumably one of the existing MVNO rather than a foreign MNO.

        Sky perhaps?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical VodaCON

    Never known to be cheap, yet always goes begging to the goverment for handouts (witness the Huawei malarkey and fear mongering of not being able to launch 5G - cost of removal of Huawei gear) . What have they done past 3 years of holding the 5G Spectrum? How much have they actually invested in the necessary infrastructure to make their 5G offerings a success? Pathetic.

    Even their 4G is slow & patchy in comparison. (I have tried them all in the hope of replacing my home landline BB).

    A long lunch with HMRC chief gets their tax liabillities waived. Moaners and manipulators.

    Maybe they should not participate in the auctions, then. And purchase from the market when they feel they can make a success out of it, by actually investing in the infrastructure needed to make 5G as useful as its made out to be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Typical VodaCON

      >>A long lunch with HMRC chief gets their tax liabillities waived. Moaners and manipulators.

      Be fair. It's not like an HMRC boss wrote Vodafone a Get Out Of Jail Free card for tax evasion and then immediately got a job with them.*

      *That was HSBC.

  4. Adam Jarvis

    Virtualisation.

    Vodafone is trying to make the point that the whole physical 5G radio spectrum for the UK could be operated as a virtual spectrum which is allocated on the fly to various operators, even down to regional variances between operators, and priced accordingly.

    It would make sense to use virtual spectrum allocation for 5G, it's not a bad idea in itself, the devil is in the detail though. The problem is wastage and Operators sitting on unallocated / unused spectrum, seems to be part of Ofcom's somewhat dated lazy revenue strategy rather than the overall efficient use of the airwaves, with a level playing field in terms of access.

    1. neilfs

      Re: Virtualisation.

      It is simply a money grab. I’ve always felt there must be a far better return on investment if the money gained from such an auction was reinvested in infrastructure that benefits the economy.

      So not only is available cash flow for infrastructure inefficient so is the use of the spectrum.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Virtualisation.

      >Vodafone is trying to make the point that the whole physical 5G radio spectrum for the UK could be operated as a virtual spectrum which is allocated on the fly to various operators, even down to regional variances between operators, and priced accordingly.

      and the kit that best handles this scenario is, reportedly.... Huawei

  5. Big_Boomer

    Don't like the terms, don't bid.

    If both Voda and O2 don't like the terms, then just boycott the auction. Then OFCOM will have no choice but to listen. If having the spectrum means that much to O2 & Voda then they can bid and PAY UP and stop whinging. Can you imagine telling someone on eBay that they need to change the terms of their auction to suit you? Nah, me neither.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't like the terms, don't bid.

      But they're not buying some knackered lawnmower, this is to supply national infrastructure. Auctioning of spectrum was a bad idea from the start, based on pure greed by HM Gov.

      A licence to use xMhz of spectrum gives long term income to HM Gov. and allows providers to invest rather than accumulating debt.

      But hey, that's such an old fashioned way of looking at it I must be wrong, bring on the debt, cos we'll all benefit /sarc

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Don't like the terms, don't bid.

      "Can you imagine telling someone on eBay that they need to change the terms of their auction to suit you? Nah, me neither."

      If there's only 3 bidders and the two biggest are threatening to withdraw from the bidding leaving one to bid really low, then yeah, you might consider it.

  6. Chris the bean counter

    Maybe use the money to reduce BBC licence fee

    And give all 5G licensees copyright free access to BBC content

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