Sagentia contributes to a number of high-profile consultations

Sagentia’s continuing involvement with Ofcom, the UK’s
communications regulator, has seen the company
contributing to a number of recent, high-profile
consultations, including one on Number Portability and
another on the Digital Dividend. Both public




Sagentia’s continuing involvement with Ofcom – the UK’s communications regulator – has seen the company contributing to a number of recent high-profile consultations, including one on Number Portability and another on the Digital Dividend. Both public consultations were initiated by Ofcom towards the end of 2006.



Number portability – the facility that enables subscribers to retain their telephone numbers when switching from one provider to another – is intended to promote competition. But ironically it is currently implemented using ‘call forwarding’ which makes changing providers time-consuming, in some cases even reducing competition. Ofcom needed to consider whether there was a case for mandating an alternative ‘central database’ implementation. This could have benefits for consumers but it is also expensive to implement and affects different operators unevenly – hence the need for consultation.



Sagentia’s study, which provided background information for the consultation process, focused on the costs to fixed and mobile operators of changing to the central database approach. Sagentia looked at the costs and benefits in the light of moves by operators towards new types of network known as Next Generation Networks (NGNs). It was found that there was a strong case for mandating central database approaches for NGNs and for mobile networks, but not for the older types of fixed network, and Ofcom has taken this into account in formulating its proposals.


Sagentia’s Public Sector practice also completed a study for Ofcom as part of the regulator’s public consultation on the ‘digital dividend’ – the use of spectrum vacated by the process of digital switchover. The study concerned the part of the spectrum used for programme making and special events (PMSE) in the UK. Sagentia’s study was commissioned by Ofcom to investigate the current and future demands on the UHF spectrum by PMSE users and to investigate how this demand is likely to change.


Drawing on Sagentia’s analysis, Ofcom’s proposed approach to the digital dividend includes a degree of safeguarding for PMSE users.






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