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Spectrum auction prompts calls for caps

A professor at the London School of Economics has called for caps on the amount of spectrum that can be auctioned to a single mobile operator, to encourage more companies to enter the market
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

There have been fresh calls for caps on the amount of spectrum any one operator can own to encourage newcomers to enter the wireless fray — and shake up the UK's mobile landscape.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar in London on Tuesday, professor Martin Cave of the London School of Economics (LSE) told delegates: "My great fear is that in 30 years' time we'll have four mobile operators [3, Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone] in this country — and they'll be exactly the same as they are now. I think that would be a huge loss of potential innovation."

As the appetite for mobile data increases, the biggest UK release for years of the radio spectrum for carrying that data is looming. The auction for the Digital Dividend spectrum released by the switchover from analogue to digital broadcast is due to take place in 2012.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Spectrum caps call as Digital Dividend auction looms on silicon.com.

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