Britain's legion of smartphone users are set to watch their BlackBerry become useless as the UK's mobile phone networks face a big capacity crunch.
A general election will send plans to liberalise the UK airwaves back to the drawing board and deprive an incoming government of the early windfall. Any delay in the liberalisation of the airwaves, or sale of a new spectrum, would create a problem to mobile phone operators. Last year, according to Ofcom, mobile data traffic increased 200% and O2 in London is creaking under the strain most notably. Networks need more capacity so that smartphones users can access the web or download applications without their connections slowing down or failing.
Newly merged Orange and T-Mobile will have to wait to see whether they can use their existing mobile phone spectrum for the next generation of super-fast mobile phone technologies termed as "long term evolution" or LTE.
Despite the potential capacity crunch, O2 and Vodafone are actually likely to welcome any delay in the process of implementing the statutory instrument. They believe the merged Orange and T-Mobile will still have too much spectrum although these two networks will be dismayed at any delay to the liberalisation of spectrum.
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