Ofcom has set out six key priorities for the next decade of spectrum use, as it looks to ensure that the explosion of data and mobile devices does not cause a capacity crunch.
The telecoms watchdog said it hopes the value of spectrum to the UK economy will reach £100bn by 2025. As such it is imperative that processes are put in place to safeguard services for where they are most needed.
Top of Ofcom’s list is mobile demands, as the organisations looks to ensure the UK can meet the needs of mobiles and tablets, as well as new services that will come online in the future, such as 5G.
Secondly, it said it would consider how best to use the 700MHz band that currently hosts digital TV signals. It is considering moving TV from this band to give mobile services more of this spectrum.
Releasing more public-sector spectrum is also on the agenda, after the government set out plans to make 500MHz available, with holdings at 2.3-2.4GHz and 3.4-3.6GHz, owned by the Ministry of Defence, first to be released.
The needs of TV and event broadcasters will also be considered, to ensure tools such as microphones and cameras in outside locations have the coverage and capacity they need.
M2M communications will also get more support with Ofcom looking at spectrum that can be opened up for use without a licence, to help make it easier for firms to innovate in this area.
Finally, Ofcom said it would ensure the emergency services have all the coverage they need for effective communications.
Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said: “As we move to an increasingly digital infrastructure across our economy it is wireless services which offer some of the most exciting opportunities for growth and innovation. Our spectrum management strategy is aimed at ensuring the regulatory approach helps the UK take as many of these opportunities as possible.
“We are looking forward to working closely with people and organisations across the UK and beyond who share our ambitions for this crucial and growing area.”
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