Could Your Smartphone Become Useless?

Smartphones such as the iPhone or Android which allow full internet access could become useless as mobile phone broadband faces a potential capacity crunch.

The recent announcement of the general election is expected to lead to the reconsideration of plans to liberalise UKs airwaves. This move would rob the incoming government of the windfall it could have received by selling off the old analogue television signal.

Any delay at all to this liberalisation will cause huge problems for mobile phone operators. According to Ofcom some networks have seen as much as a 200 per cent growth of data traffic this year and are left struggling under the strain.

If more capacity is not obtained by these networks then users of Smartphones could struggle with unusable page load times and in some cases even complete failure to access the internet.

The digital economy bill, which has had such a great deal of media hype, will no doubt play a crucial role in this precarious situation. If the legislation passes it will do so along with a deal which allows mobile phone networks to bid for free spectrum space.

This is obviously crucial to avoid a capacity crunch situation.

"It looks very, very precarious," said one mobile phone industry insider last night. "If it does not get through there is every likelihood that a new government will review the whole matter again, delaying the process for a year, perhaps more."

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