Plan for new 3G Operators - Masts

Plan for new 3G Operators - Masts in UK & Europe



Lisa Oldham
Mast Sanity UK

Please show your support and join us at the Mast Sanity National Campaigners Conference Gloucester Cricket club, Bristol Sat 25th September 2004

See website for current programme

"The major mobile operators in UK (e.g Vodafone, T-Mobil. O2 etc) and Europe have been aggressively lobbying over the past 4 years the governments e.g. national regulatory authorities (NRAs), industry ministries etc - across Europe to release additional spectrum to accommodate additional 3G / UMTS networks and services in all European countries.

In the very near future (1-2 months) it is probable that the set of European NRAs in a body called CEPT will approve a Report to be sent to the European Commission agreeing to designate new frequency bands in the range 2.5/2.6 GHz range - specifically the band 2500 MHz to 2690 MHz - for future 3G / UMTS services.

This corresponds to a release of about 190 MHz of spectrum at 2.5/2.6 GHz which is greater than the roughly 155 MHz already designated in the UK and most of Europe for 3G / UMTS services in the 1.9/2.1 GHz where currently all 3G operators are licensed to operate. The current set of 3G operators have already rolled out 100,000s of 3G base stations across Europe operating in the 2 GHz range.

CEPT will probably take action in next 2-6 months to approved a CEPT Decision to designate across most of Europe (25 to 35 countries) these 2.5/2.6 GHz bands for future 3G / UMTS services. This is likely to be followed up by an EU level Decision - given the strength of the mobile industry lobby - unless strong lobbying action is taken at the EC level and via the European Parliament.

If the mobile operators have their way, it is then very likely that over the next 1-5 years the UK and other European countries will licence the current 3G operators or new 3G operators to implement new 3G networks in those countries. It is virtually certain that the UK NRA (OFCOM and DTI) will initiate an auction process to award licences to new 3G operators and therefore to seek a further windfall gain. Many other European countries are likely to follow the same approach.

This then means that there will be a yet further massive increase in mast applications by current and future mobile operators across the UK and across Europe seeking to use these soon to be designated frequencies at 2.5/2.6 GHz for 3G / UMTS services. This increase will manifest itself in either new applications for mast sites or in addition of additional transmitting equipment on existing mast sites. In either case, there will be a substantial increase in the level of EMF emission radiated in total and a likely huge proliferation of mast sites across the UK and across Europe - especially in urban and sub-urban areas.

This is because the use of the 2.5/2.6 GHz bands will normally require higher transmit powers than the use of 2 Ghz bands - the higher the frequency the higher the transmitter power usually required. The use of the higher frequencies at 2/5/2.6 Ghz will usually also mean the use of higher geographic density of base station sites (masts).

It is unfortunately clear that Governments are still proceeding to support the mobile industry and paying lip-service to strongly expressed concerns of the public.

It is therefore vitally important that members of the public and mast groups are informed of the above so that one can start to take lobbying actions against these developments in the UK and across Europe.

Additional information will be provided at a later date."


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September 2004

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