About this blog

News and analysis of developments in the enterprise communication industry and market with primary focus on Europe.

The author aims to tap into ideas, insights and thoughts of the readers to get varied perspectives.

Views expressed in this blog are solely the author's opinion and in no way reflect those of his employer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Will Ofcom continue to be friends with the low power GSM license winners

There are perks in being a Industry Analyst. At the end of a hard day's work, I had a meeting appointment with Ian Sugarboard, President and CEO of LGC Wireless at Picadilly Circus. The place falls on my way back home. Not really, ended up taking a circuitous route.

Ian started by articulating his vision for LGC Wireless, followed by explaining their value proposition, their place in the market and the like. James Cooper, who had arranged the meeting helped me to a shot of caffeine. Hey, not saying anything against Ian. He was superb, but then three meetings with senior managements of three companies earlier in the day had drained me of all my energy. Well not all!

Responding to one of my queries, Ian opined that Ofcom was visionary in licensing the 6MHz guard band to 12 players in 2006. The winners who include BT and Teleware have a very huge business opportunity to be leveraged in the wireless enterprise space in UK. However there remains some complications. While the license allows the winners to offer in-building GSM coverage, the solution will be successful only when it offers seamless connectivity outside the premise. The hand-over to wide area wireless carrier has to be transparent for the solutions to gain greater appeal. Till now we haven't read any deal in the press. Ian mentioned that while GSMA assures international roaming to all service provider, national roaming and interconnect is within the framework of the national regulator. What this effectively means is that, in the event of the new winners of low power GSM licenses not getting any interconnect agreement with the mobile operators, they can knock on the doors of Ofcom, who by regulation can force the mobile operators to open up interconnect with these new players. The big questions that remain to be answered include-

Will Ofcom be so friendly with the new winners?
Do we see a fixed price interconnect regime in the future?
Will mobile operators succumb to the pressure and offer access rates that are on-par with fixed operators?

Ian's opinion kept ringing in my ears throughout the 50 minute underground journey I undertook. What a way to end the day. Now, I am planning to do a bit of analysis on this rather interesting segment. Thanks Ian. You gave me another job and the inspiration. Thats why I say there are perks in being a Industry Analyst.

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