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April 2, 2012

Ofcom looking to use 600MHz & 700MHz bands for mobile broadband

Ofcom are suggesting that the 600MHz and 700MHz bands of the spectrum could be used to cope with the increasing demand for mobile broadband in the future.

ofcom mobile broadband spectrum 300x170 Ofcom looking to use 600MHz & 700MHz bands for mobile broadbandA consultation has been started by Ofcom “Securing long term benefits from scarce spectrum resources” that will look to keep them reserved for mobile broadband needs in the future. It is thought that mobile broadband demand could rise 80 fold between 2012 and 2030 in a mid-level growth scenario and a huge 300 fold in a high-growth scenario, just underlining the need to be ready for the extra demand. Much of this is due to smartphones and tablet PCs which increasingly use more and more video and data services as technology continues improving.

The spectrum could also be used for digital terrestrial television (DTT), emergency services or applications which use white space technology.

It won’t be a quick thing to get the frequency available for mobile broadband use, an international agreement needs to be done first with the expected earliest date it could be ready being 2018.

Enabling the use of the 700 MHz band for mobile broadband in the UK would require a new international frequency co-ordination agreement. This could take several years to complete and will depend on the position adopted by other European countries. Our current view is that the earliest date this could be achieved is 2018, provided there is sufficient agreement in Europe.

The consultation can be read at Ofcom.org.uk and all interested stakeholders have until 7th June 2012 to respond to the consultation.

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