Ofcom identifies more mobile spectrum

Ofcom has unveiled its plan to ensure the UK has enough mobile capacity for future use, including several new spectrum bands.

The telecoms watchdog is working closely with the Ministry of Defence to move spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands from public sector to commercial use. This spectrum is suitable for mobile broadband and could be released through an auction in 2015-16. It is also investigating the potential to use the 700MHz band, currently used for digital terrestrial TV, for mobile broadband use sometime after 2018.

Ofcom will also lead a pilot into the use of ‘white space’ technology – which may see spectrum without any particular use being identified and used for mobile broadband.

Chief Executive Ed Richards commented: “The demands for mobile data will only increase as millions more wireless devices connect to the Internet and each other. We’re looking at ways to use spectrum more efficiently and consider future releases of prime spectrum. By doing so, we can help to meet the significant demands placed on our wireless infrastructure and develop one of the world’s leading digital economies.”

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