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FCS Call On Ofcom To ‘Make The Air Fair’

C Pateman FCS

The trade association FCS, is throwing its weight behind a new campaign to improve competition in the mobile phone market.

As Ofcom prepares to release new radio spectrum for mobile telephony, industry campaigners are calling for a cap on the maximum amount of spectrum any one network is allowed to control. FCS is joining with Three, Gamma, TalkTalk, City Fibre and Relish in a call to ‘Make The Air Fair’

“In every other market, business people are used to having a choice of good services from a variety of suppliers,” says FCS chief executive Chris Pateman. “But mobile telephony depends on those competitors all having enough radio spectrum to offer their services over. Unfortunately, the UK market doesn’t currently have that balance.”

Ofcom tried to force competition into the market when they auctioned off the 4G spectrum in 2012, by deliberately reserving one of the blocks for a new entrant. BT bought that block of spectrum, did very little with it, and subsequently acquired Everything Everywhere, which was already the UK’s biggest mobile operator.

“The present distortion in mobile availability risks making the whole telecommunications sector look amateurish and old-fashioned,” says Chris Pateman. “We owe it to Government and business to deliver real choice and proper competition for the high quality voice and data connections upon which they rely to trade in the modern world.”

Mark Collins, director of strategy and public affairs at CityFibre, added: “We are at a critical point in determining the future of the UK mobile market. With growing investment in the next generation of mobile network infrastructure, the time is right to protect the viability of that competitive market.

“As a challenger in our market, CityFibre is wholly aligned to the change this campaign seeks to achieve. The regulator must ensure that the upcoming auction is designed to improve services for all.”