22/11/2013

Ofcom consults on mobile data strategy

Ofcom, the Super regulator, is holding a consultation on its mobile data strategy, potentially looking as far forward as 2030.

Ofcom has recently sold off spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands and is looking to award spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz in the near future as well as opening up the use of TV whitespace and even the 700MHz band (which is currently used for DTT) which would mean moving the DTT band to 600MHz (and using MPEG-4 and DVB-T2 technologies).

This can be summarised in a table: -

  
Relative priority for potential releaseBands for consideration
Current priorities700 MHz, 2.3, 3.4 GHz, UHF white space
High1452-1492 MHz, 1980-2010 / 2170-2200 MHz (2 GHz MSS), 3.6-3.8 GHz, 5350-5470 MHz, 5725-5925 MHz
Medium-High2.7-2.9 GHz, 3.8-4.2 GHz
Medium450-470 MHz4, 470-694 MHz, 1350-1518 MHz

Some of these bands are in use and therefore current users will have to migrate off them or shared use is being considered.

Newer WiFi technologies make more use of the 5GHz band (Ofcom have noted the 2.4GHz band is already congested in many areas), however the 5GHz band would have to be extended (currently the bands are either licensed or lightly licensed as some of it is used for things like military radar).

Other parts of the spectrum would be expected to be used to extend mobile usages for 4G and 5G services.

The full statement (PDF) can be found here (it's 113 pages long).

Stakeholders can respond on-line.