Analysis: Three and ViaSat call on UK Government to ensure the right regulatory climate.
Regulators need to look at the technology, not the products
The third part of the convergence mix is wi-fi and fixed broadband. Louise Lancaster of UK Broadband explains that this requires looking at the market in a different way.
"It’s important to look at this market as a whole and not through narrow blinkers.
"I don’t think converged networks can be regulated in the way that they are now, starting with a narrow product market: silo regulation. The problem with starting with the product market is that you’re always behind the curve of regulation, regulating what is currently provided rather than what could be provided.
"The result is remedies that don’t really do the job…there is a tendency to bed in incumbent legacy network design rather than allow people to design networks for tomorrow’s needs."
Lancaster explains what this might look like, if the Government takes a role in "encouraging infrastructure competition and network sharing.
"We’ve been looking at multi-operator core networks, which are sort of halfway between an MVNO and a passive network share."
This solution will require looking at spectrum in a different way.
"It’s Radio Access Network sharing but the difference is you’re sharing the spectrum capacity rather than each having your own spectrum capacity.
"For LTE and data you require large chunks of spectrum, so dividing them into small chunks isn’t necessarily the most effective use.
"With a multi-operator core network you get all the benefits of infrastructure competition: everyone has their own core network, you control the quality of service you provide to your customers, yet you’re all getting the benefit of access to a big chunk of spectrum that can provide high speeds."
However it is achieved, the Government needs to ensure that it is not an obstacle to technologies that could enable a better experience for consumers and better market for providers.