New Wireless Licences for UK

(09 Jun 2008, BWCS Staff)

UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has been outlining how it plans to deal with the new radio spectrum that will be released as British homes switch to digital television services. According to the regulator, its aim will be to enable innovative services that will deliver significant benefits to UK citizens and consumers.

The new spectrum, which has been widely dubbed the digital dividend, is in the UHF band and is currently taken up with the delivery of several TV channels using analogue technology. Signals transmitted in these bands can travel over large distances and carry a large amount of information, making the frequency suitable for delivering wireless broadband and mobile TV services, as well as digital TV pictures.

Ofcom says that is consultation document proposes to release the spectrum in a way that will promote competition and innovation and allow the widest range of technologies and services to access the spectrum. All new licences covering these frequencies will be tradable and flexible to allow users to determine the technology and services they provide and to change the use of the airwaves as new technologies and services emerge.

The regulator plans to make 128MHz of cleared spectrum available on a UK-wide basis, holding an auction in 2009. The spectrum will be freed up for new uses in phases, as digital switchover proceeds between now and 2012.


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