Ofcom outlines 5G Spectrum plans for the UK | Mobile Networks | Mobile Entertainment

Ofcom outlines 5G Spectrum plans for the UK

Daniel Gumble


Networks / 4G / November 16th 2012 at 4:01PM

Telecoms regulator to introduce new airwaves over the next decade.

While Kevin Bacon is still bothering Brits the land over with news of 4G and a hefty dose of borrowed nostalgia for Corrie, Catchphrase and Frank Carson, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is already outlining its plans for a 5G Spectrum to be rolled out over the next decade.

The announcement outlined the firm’s plans to enable the release of new airwaves in a bid to meet the growing demand for data on the move.

Ofcom has also released new data on the UK's communications infrastructure, revealing that the amount of data consumed over the past year via its mobile networks has more than doubled to 20 million Gigabytes, as opposed to nine million in 2011.

The regulator claims that demand for mobile data could be 80 times higher than today by 2030, and is therefore preparing plans now to support the release of spectrum for future mobile services, possibly '5G', when the spectrum becomes available.

The plans is to draw on the 700 MHz frequency band, which, at present, is currently used for digital terrestrial television as part of future harmonised international spectrum planning. Furthermore, the release of the new frequencies will be achievable with no need for another TV 'switchover'.

Ed Richards, chief executive, Ofcom, said: "Within the coming months we will hold the UK's largest-ever auction of mobile spectrum for 4G. However, that may not be enough to meet consumers' future data demands, which is why we are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G.

"Our plans are designed to avoid a 'capacity crunch', ensuring that the UK's mobile infrastructure can continue to support the inescapable growth in consumer demand and economic growth more generally."

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