Ofcom publish blueprint for next decade of spectrum

Ofcom has today published its Spectrum Management Strategy, setting out their strategic approach and priorities for managing radio spectrum. The plan is designed to enable the UK to meet the growing demands placed on its wireless infrastructure over the next decade.

Six priorities for spectrum management

Ofcom has identified six priority areas for future spectrum use. They are:

1. Future mobile data demands: Ofcom will consider the potential impact these demands have on other users of spectrum. Ofcom will also contribute to international decisions, examine in detail the case for using more spectrum for mobile data, support improvements in mobile coverage and monitor developments towards 5G technology.

2. The future of the 700MHz band and free-to-view TV: Ofcom is investigating the potential to rearrange the bands used for digital terrestrial TV. This could release more of this prime spectrum for mobile broadband use sometime after 2018, while ensuring that viewers would continue to benefit from digital terrestrial TV.

3. Public sector spectrum release: Ofcom will support the Government in achieving its target to release 500 MHz of spectrum from the public sector. A first step will be the release of spectrum at 2.3 and 3.4 GHz, currently held by the Ministry of Defence.

4. Programme Making and Special Events: Ofcom is working with PMSE stakeholders to understand their current and future spectrum demands for wireless microphones and cameras.

5.Machine-to-Machine applications: Ofcom has started work to understand the implications of the expected growth in M2M. Enabling licence exempt access to the 870-915 MHz band is a first step towards ensuring spectrum availability to support innovation in this area. The UK is among the first countries globally to release spectrum that can support M2M communications.

6.The emergency services: Ofcom will support the Government is assessing how best to deliver the wireless communications needs of the emergency services over the long term.

DTG Staff  |  30.04.2014

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