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3G Spectrum Licences

House of Lords written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of The Earl of Northesk The Earl of Northesk Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there is adequate scope for competition between, and innovation by, the licences for 3G spectrum; and how this is affected by the current difficulties in the telecommunications sector.

Photo of Lord Sainsbury of Turville Lord Sainsbury of Turville Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Science and Innovation), Department of Trade and Industry, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Trade and Industry) (Science and Innovation)

By assigning the spectrum licences for third generation (3G) mobile telecommunications services by auction, the Government ensured that the licences went to those that valued them the most and are likely to make the best use of them. The auction also introduced a new entrant to the UK market for mobile telecommunications, which will benefit consumers by increasing competition, spurring innovation, and bearing down on prices.

Despite the current difficult conditions affecting the telecommunications sector world-wide, all of the UK operators are proceeding with plans to roll out 3G networks, and government expect UK consumers to be among the first in the world to benefit from 3G services. Oftel regularly reviews competition in mobile markets and could use either sectoral powers or Competition Act powers to address potential failures in competition. Rebo

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