PA Consulting investigates future spectrum demand

Following a nine month study, PA Consulting Group has completed a report for UK's Ofcom to predict any potential pressure on spectrum availability across the UK over the next 15 to 20 years.

Spectrum is a finite and valuable resource, and PA's report shows both supply and demand for spectrum under a number of different scenarios ranging from high growth with very high demand for downloads and video streaming over wireless, to a ‘contracting market’ scenario where nervousness about security and privacy lead people to rely less on wireless transmission.

PA’s report shows the range of conditions under which spectrum would be readily available to meet demand, as well as the levels of growth that would be needed to reach a point where spectrum might begin to limit rollout of new high bandwidth services. PA’s work also highlights the importance of technology changes that we expect to see over the next 5-10 years, and how those will mitigate the increased demand for spectrum by improving spectral efficiency dramatically.

These findings will enable Ofcom to continue to manage the spectrum efficiently based on likely demand for wireless communications – primarily in mobile, broadcast and fixed services – through to 2025.

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