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
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
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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