UK communications regulator Ofcom has confirmed its plans to make more radio spectrum available for mobile broadband services. Following a recent consultation it now aims to release part of the 700MHz frequency band to mobile network operators.
Plans to auction spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands were announced earlier this month.
The 700MHz band is currently used for digital terrestrial TV services and wireless microphones. Some wireless microphone equipment would need to be replaced but most digital TV boxes would simply need returning, although some household may require new aerials.
Ofcom aims to have the 700MHz band available for mobile networks by the beginning of 2022 - and possibly up to two years earlier.
Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said “This is a crucial next step in the development of the UK’s communications infrastructure. This decision ensures that we are making the raw materials available with which investors and companies can build the services which will support the digital economy of the future. More spectrum will be available for mobile broadband where demand is especially high, but the UK will retain a competitive terrestrial television platform as well.”
[Ofcom consultation decision]