Ofcom has outlined several new spectrum bands it believes could be freed up in future to help ensure the UK can meet huge data demands from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
The new spectrum could increase the capacity of the UK by 25 times by 2030, the telecoms regulator said in its latest consultation.
The new spectrum bands identified include the 2.7GHz spectrum, which sits just above the 2.6GHz range now used for 4G services. Currently it is used for radar services, but Ofcom thinks around 100MHz within the band could be freed up.
Spectrum in the 3.6GHz range could also be made available, Ofcom said. This is currently used for satellite links, but it could also be used by mobile operators in co-ordination with satellite providers, Ofcom said.
The chief executive of Ofcom Ed Richards said making more spectrum available was a vital part of the UK’s digital future. “The demands for mobile data will only increase as millions more wireless devices connect to the internet and each other," he said.
“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.”
Ofcom also reiterated plans to open up spectrum currently owned by the Ministry of Defence for reuse by mobile operators, as well as moving digital television services out of the 700MHz band, into which they were only recently moved from 800MHz.
It also underlined its hope that white space technology trials currently taking place prove this can also play a credible part of the nation's future mobile spectrum make-up.
The plans form part of the latest consultation from Ofcom which is available online and is open for responses until 30 January 2014.
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