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November 7, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Following the publication of a report on its plans for the radio spectrum earlier this year, the UK government has invited telecommunications companies to bid for licences to provide radio-based services to small- and medium-sized companies, and to customers in rural areas. Science & Technology Minister Ian Taylor has invited applications for licences in two bands – a 10GHz band for nationwide advanced digital services, and a 2GHz band for standard telecommunications services, predominantly intended to extend voice telephony to rural areas. Taylor said licenscing the 10GHz band, which will provide ISDN services with a minimum bit rate of 144Kbps, is intended to increase demand for ISDN capacity. One regional and two national licences will be awarded in the 10GHz band. The 2GHz licences will increase the area covered by that frequency to around 40% of Britain’s less populated areas, from around 20%. It is envisaged that up to three licences will be available for each band. According to Taylor, Any company is eligible to apply for a licence to operate systems at either 2GHz or 10GHz or both, although successful applicants will require licensing under both the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949. He added that the equipment used by the successful operators must ultimately conform to the harmonised European standards currently being developed. A recent study by the government’s Radiocommunications Agency and the Office of Telecommunications watchdog estimated that radio communications contributes around ú10,000m, or 1.5% of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product. Closing date for applications is December 11, with awards expected in the spring.

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