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UK Policy Changes Required for Broadband

Can the UK catch up to the Asia-Pacific leadership of the global mobile phone market? Adjustments to the UK regulatory policy framework are required -- given the rapid adoption of mobile broadband services, according to an Ofcom commissioned report from Analysys Mason.

Their market study, which forms part of Ofcom's Mobile Sector Assessment consultation, considers the recent dramatic increases in data service usage, which could accelerate over the next five years, and this ubiquitous mobile broadband access may change the nature of the mobile proposition.

Widespread access to real Internet-based services from laptops and mobile handsets, as well as the development of new applications based around mobile IP connectivity, would offer considerable additional value to UK consumers and businesses.

"The current UK regulatory framework governing the delivery of mobile services was established to promote competition in infrastructure-based services that were delivered solely through mobile communications networks," says Mike Grant, partner at Analysys Mason.

"With users increasingly focussed on consumption of content across multiple networks, adjustments to the UK regulatory framework are likely to be required if the benefits of the emerging trends are to be fully realized."

The Analysys Mason report developed four possible scenarios for the evolution and development of the mobile industry over the next ten years. These scenarios, based on discussions with major industry players, provide insight into the dynamics of the sector and how different players in the value chain may fare under different assumptions.

Mobile broadband sales are now well in excess of 100,000 per month in the UK. This compares to monthly fixed broadband additions of 200,000 -- which were apparently declining in the first quarter of 2008.

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