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Ofcom to release terrestrial TV spectrum for mobile broadband services in UK

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NEW DELHI: Even as the dispute about Defence releasing spectrum continues in India, mobile broadband services in Britain will get a boost with British telecom regulator Ofcom releasing some digital terrestrial spectrum.

The strategy of Ofcom is to ensure that UK’s network operators can continue to deliver mobile broadband using some of the frequencies used for digital terrestrial TV services such as Freeview, and wireless microphones. Ofcom said these frequencies make up the 700 MHz frequency band.

Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said, “This important decision ensures that we are making the raw materials available with which investors and companies can build the services which will support the digital economy of the future.”

Ofcom said that viewers can continue to enjoy the free-to-view TV services without another switchover. Ofcom is keeping a target of 2022.

Ofcom will ensure that users — theatres, sports venues and music events – of wireless microphones will have access to airwaves to deliver cultural benefits.

Some industry reports predict that demand for mobile data could be 45 times higher by 2030 than it is today.

In October, Ofcom has already invited potential bidders to comment on proposals for auction of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands, which is expected to take place in late 2015 or early 2016.

The company has identified a number of frequency bands that wireless microphones could potentially use. Working with the PMSE community, Ofcom will confirm what spectrum will be available to them next year.

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