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Ofcom hosts Spectrum Strategy workshop

20/09/19

Our Head of Wireless Technologies, Alex Buchan, participated in a spectrum strategy workshop hosted by Ofcom yesterday.  The workshop was attended by 50 industry experts representing a range of organisations including the BBC, Google, Sky UK and Sennheiser. Philip Marnick, Ofcom’s Group Director of Spectrum introduced the event. He highlighted that while 1 GHz used to be considered the highest frequency that is feasibly useful for wireless communications, it is now considerably higher frequencies such as 100 GHz that are being discussed. This has created a need to rethink how spectrum is allocated and licensed and the role Ofcom has to play.

The workshop considered four main topics:

  • How to enable wireless innovation
  • What are the challenges for managing and licensing spectrum?
  • How to best facilitate growth in mmWave frequency bands
  • What type of services will mmWave frequencies enable?

Many suggestions were put forward such as the need for lighter regulation in higher frequency bands; spectrum sand-pits to allow fast-fail trials of spectrum solutions; innovative and more agile approaches to spectrum allocation; and a move away from the current 4-year WRC process.

Ofcom will collate and review all the inputs before deciding which aspects will feed into their spectrum policies going forward. They will also make their presentations from the day available online in due course.

 

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