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Mobile Phones: Radio Frequencies

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 7th July 2011.

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Photo of Alun Cairns Alun Cairns Conservative, Vale of Glamorgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport

(1) what consideration he has given to stipulating coverage obligations across the nations and regions of the UK as part of the auction of fourth generation mobile communications spectrum;

(2) what timetable the Government has set for the auction of fourth generation mobile communications spectrum;

(3) what plans he has made to (a) reduce the likelihood of and (b) avoid any delay to the auction of fourth generation mobile communications spectrum arising from any legal challenge.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The design and timing of the auction is a matter for Ofcom. Ofcom has consulted on this recently, proposing a 95% coverage obligation on one of the licences and are considering the responses calling for changes to their proposals. Ofcom is aiming to carry out an auction in the first half of 2012. If there is any legal challenge to the auction then that would be made to Ofcom. Given the benefits to the economy and to citizens and consumers, it is in the national interest that this spectrum is released as soon as possible. We would not welcome any further delay to the release of this spectrum. We would hope that any organisation that might consider legal action recognises the importance of carrying out the auction as soon as possible.

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