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Internet service provider (ISP) O2 has failed in its attempt to gain access to the 2G radio spectrum for mobile broadband services.

The firm believed that, under European law, it could use the 900MHz and 1800MHz, currently utilised for voice data, to deliver broadband to its customers.

However, according to, the ISP did not want to wait for parliamentary approval for this move, and instead turned to European law for permission.

O2 believed its actions were legal under Council Directive 87/372/EC and Commission Decision 2009/766/EC, but this claim was dismissed by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

In its judgement, the body ruled that O2 had "no directly enforceable right" to require Ofcom to take specific steps to lift the restrictions on its licence before 9th May 2010.

Last month, Ofcom announced that it would allow the maximum in-band power limit for 3G mobile spectrum licences is to be increased. 

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