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Vodafone has fingered a subcontractor after it was presented with evidence showing the mobile firm broadcasting on Three UK's piece of the 1,800MHz band at a cell site at London's Gatwick airport.
Its UK mobile network competitor Three UK, which described the issue as an "error", has said it is investigating whether other sites were affected.
Reg - Footage - Voda - Slice - Spectrum
The Reg has seen footage where Voda appeared to be impinging on an extra 5MHz slice of spectrum which falls under the chunk allotted to Hutchison's UK mobile arm in Band 3 (aka the 1800MHz range) at the North terminal of the airport. The configuration error has since been corrected.
If you're wondering what 5MHz is between friends, it's significant because more MHz means more bandwidth, meaning more customers can be supported by a cell tower, for example – or that network subscribers can get faster mobile data access.
Three - UK - Mouthpiece - Vodafone - Error
A Three UK mouthpiece told us: "Vodafone has confirmed that due to an error they were using Three's spectrum at a site in Gatwick. Unfortunately a number of our customers would have seen a drop in performance for a short period of time in this area. Other sites may have been affected and we are working with Vodafone to investigate this."
And they couldn't resist a dig, it seems, adding: "In the meantime, we will be offering them support and training on mobile mast configuration."
Vodafone - Spokesperson - Reg - Part - Monitoring
A Vodafone spokesperson told The Reg: "As part of routine monitoring, we noticed that a subcontractor had inadvertently configured the site to work on the 10MHz bandwidth...
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