This is 2017. We expect our coffee to be strong and our Netflix shows to stream seamlessly. And so, whilst we may be safe on the state of Americanos for now, watching our favourite online shows using mobile internet is set to become a lot more frustrating.
Ofcom, the communications industry regulator, is auctioning off additional mobile spectrum later this year and BT/EE, who already own 42% of the airwaves, could increase their stake and squeeze out their competitors such as Three, O2 and Vodafone. The result? Expect regular buffering as our mobile networks struggle to cope with internet streaming and resulting frustrations to be exacerbated by a lack of network choice and a higher service price. Stranger Things will be forced to wait.
Ofcom and its Chief Executive, Sharon White, have asked for advice on how the next batch of mobile airwaves should be sold off. This is why TalkTalk is supporting Three’s Make the Air Fair campaign, to tell Ofcom that no mobile network should own more than 30% of the UK’s vital mobile spectrum.
Simply put, the more spectrum a mobile network operator holds, the more capacity they have to deliver better, faster and more reliable services to their customers. For example, with more spectrum, operators can make sure you can use data hungry apps on the move without any drops in service. Clearly, a monopoly on these airwaves would stunt competition, block innovation and drive unfair pricing strategies.
TalkTalk supports this campaign because a 30% cap would level the playing field and help keep prices down by making sure UK consumers can choose between competitive mobile deals. An Ofcom decision on spectrum can help underpin the UK’s drive towards a digital future.
100,000 people who believe in a better future for mobile have already signed up. Why not join them and sign Three’s consultation and tweet #TellSharon to tell Ofcom why this matters to you: www.maketheairfair.org