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Ofcom Consults to Open More Mobile Broadband Spectrum

Posted: 02nd Feb, 2009 By: MarkJ
Ofcom has launched a new consultation that proposes to free up yet more of the ex-analogue TV radio spectrum for use by wireless Mobile Broadband services. The move is designed to match similar activity in other EU states, which have opted to open a wider block than the UK’s, at 790 to 862 MHz (the so-called 800 MHz band).

The regulator believes that making this entire 800 MHz band available to new uses would bring a raft of additional benefits citizens and consumers:

Ofcom believes that the net benefits to consumers could be worth £2-3 billion over twenty years:

  • lower equipment prices for consumers

  • more efficient use of spectrum

  • improved opportunities for new generations of mobile broadband

  • more scope for competition and innovation in new wireless services

Unfortunately extending the digital dividend could also mean some changes to the spectrum used by digital terrestrial television (DTT) services and wireless microphones. However it's believed that the impact would be minimal, at worst requiring viewers to re-tune their set-top boxes (STB).

The consultation itself is available HERE. Ofcom expects to publish a statement on this issue in summer 2009 with a view to holding the auction for the UK’s digital dividend in 2010.
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