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Ofcom rules out mobile competition review

Ian Grant

The UK mobile telephony market is competitive enough, UK communications regulator Ofcom said today, ruling out a a formal market review of the sector.

Mobile network coverage in the UK was generally good but some problems persisted in rural areas, Ofcom said, as it published the first maps of 3G network coverage by the UK's five mobile network operators.

>> Photos: True Picture of your Mobile 3G Coverage <<

Ofcom said consumers were increasingly using mobile networks to access the internet on their computers via a dongle or 3G datacard.

There were over two million new connections to mobile broadband between February 2008 and February 2009, it said.

Ofcom would focus on persistent so-called "not-spots", where areas have poor or no reception, and try to facilitate better mobile coverage.

It said it will help government proposals to make more spectrum available for mobile broadband as well as improve 3G coverage on key transport routes.

It would also research the technical quality of service, such as mobile broadband speeds, that consumers receive from mobile devices.

Ofcom's view is based on a market analysis which forms part of a consultation on call termination rates due to close on 29 July. Termination rates are the wholesale charges that operators make to connect calls to each others' networks.


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