UK govt to release publicly held spectrum On 04.01.11, In Mobile

UK Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, has outlined proposals to release even more radio spectrum by 2020. The announcement follows finalization of plans to hold an auction for LTE band early next year. The public sector currently holds around half of the most useful spectrum, and the Government is now committed to releasing 500 MHz over the next 10 years.

According to Communications Minister Ed Vaizey, this is a long-term project to ensure that the industry is able to meet the growing demand for services that need spectrum. The use of smartphones and mobile broadband is set to increase rapidly. Releasing more spectrums over the next decade will be essential if industry is to meet that growing demand. They must ensure the public sector uses this valuable resource as efficiently as possible. If the public sector does not need it, then it should be released so businesses can use it to grow.

The public sector uses spectrum for a wide range of services including defence, emergency services, transport and science.

The report reveals the Ministry of Defence has already identified two bands (2310-2390 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz) from which they expect to release 160 MHz of spectrum.

Releasing spectrum can be complex as many bands are covered by international agreements, existing equipment may have to be retuned or replaced and changes in use can cause interference, which would have to be resolved. Once a band is ready to be released it could be sold, leased or allocated for licence-exempt uses, such as localized Wi-Fi.

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