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By: MarkJ - 30 June, 2009 (11:42 AM)
Ofcom has today confirmed plans to clear the 800MHz band (790-862MHz) of radio spectrum, which is currently being used for the old analogue television (TV) services. The move opens the way for next generation Mobile Broadband services to utilise the frequency, thus delivering faster and cheaper wireless Internet access over an even wider coverage.

This is all part of the regulators 'Digital Dividend', which has seen a re-organisation of various spectrum bands to be more in line with modern uses and demands. Much of this frequency has been freed because newer digital services take up less room in the airwaves than analogue, leaving space for other uses.

Ofcom Statement:

We believe that freeing-up the whole 800 MHz band for new uses will provide large benefits to citizens and consumers. These include lower equipment prices for consumers, more efficient use of spectrum, improved opportunities for new generations of Mobile Broadband and more scope for competition and innovation in new wireless services.

The net benefits to consumers could be worth at least £2.5-3 billion. There will also be some changes to the spectrum used by digital terrestrial television (DTT) services and wireless microphones. Ofcom has plans to ensure that this is done with the minimum disruption.

Download FULL .PDF Report
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/800mhz/statement/clearing.pdf

It's anticipated that mobile operators, such as Three (3) UK, will now be able to bid for space on the 800MHz band. This could allow them to deploy both enhanced forms of existing Mobile Broadband services and possibly also future Long Term Evolution (LTE / 4G) technology.
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