Ofcom is re-appraising the way it manages the UK’s radio spectrum and is streamlining the tools it uses for the job.
Observers feel that Ofcom, always under pressure from its political masters to meet budgets, is seeking to streamline its technical systems. It is seeking industry input on how it might do that through a consultation document issued in the summer and due for closure at the end of October.
“We are making arguments relating to efficacy of software tools such as ICS telecom and over price, which is something all customers – particularly those with a parliament to report to – are sensitive about,” adds Nick Kirkman, Technical Director and account manager to Ofcom.
He notes that Ofcom has already bought ATDI’s database tool, ICS manager, and that the organisation is one of a growing number of regulators worldwide using ATDI systems and services.
Ofcom’s consultation document makes particular reference to white space. That is, frequencies which have been allocated to broadcasters but are not used in a locality; this means they are free to be put to another purpose, often mobile broadband.
Ofcom is eager to identify these white spaces and ATDI is in the process of incorporating the facility to do that into its flagship planning and modelling tool, ICS telecom.
“It’s a constant theme of ours that we listen to customers,” Nick says, “and we’re small and flexible enough to respond rapidly to their needs. Our latest upgrades to all our systems are driven by our conversations with customers. I like to think that at ATDI we carry history not legacy and that makes us extremely responsive.”
And Nick sees no disadvantage in ATDI being a smaller company. “Anything that’s too big for us to manage alone, we can tackle in partnership with the like-minded,” he comments. “We’ve already shown our effectiveness working with companies like CGI and more recently collaborations with competitors enable us to tackle the most complex problems. I would love to think there are more strategic partnerships in our future because I really enjoy the stimulation and innovative thinking that brings.”
“Often competitors see the world in much the same way and, much as we compete at the moment, a union enables us to increase in size and create a formidable team all pulling in the same direction.”