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Big changes to mobile broadband predicted

Many masts expected to come down


The keypad on a mobile phone.

The opening up of competition among phone operators, announced by the telecoms regulator, should see a reduction in the cost of mobile broadband.

Ofcom’s plans should also mean fewer outdoor masts around the UK.

It’s expected the technical changes will also lead to greater coverage in rural areas, faster web browsing and downloads on mobile broadband, more services and better indoor coverage.

Among the changes are plans to allow other operators to use the 900MHz band currently used exclusively by O2 and Vodafone for more 3G services.

Which? mobile phones expert, Ceri Stanaway, said: ‘These changes have the potential to bring about significant improvements in price, speed and range of mobile broadband services, so should prove good news for consumers.’


Ofcom believes the changes will revolutionise the way we access the internet from mobile phones and will mean 10,000 fewer mobile masts are needed.

The regulator expected the changes to be painful for some mobile companies, but a spokesman said: ‘We make no apologies. These changes are vital if the UK is to lead the charge towards a vibrant future in which consumers have access to new, high-speed mobile services, with effective competition and low prices.’

In other figures released by Ofcom it was revealed that more than 8 out of 10 households in the UK now have multichannel TV.

Almost 13m homes now have a Freeview device, Sky now has 8m subscribers, while the total number of homes with cable services, such as Virgin Media, is now 3.4m.

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