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Ofcom considers spectrum trades

The communications watchdog yesterday revealed plans to allow mobile phone operators to trade their valuable radio spectrum with each other, to make the services faster and more reliable. The operators rely on spectrum to provide customers with coverage, as it carries the information between the devices and the mobile masts around the country.

Ofcom has drawn up the new proposals which, if agreed, will mark the first time UK operators have been allowed to make such trades to help increase capacity and efficiency in the network. The consultation will take six weeks.

There are currently 80 million mobiles in the UK, 12.8 million of which are smartphones. These put huge strain on the networks as people increasingly look to access the internet.