Ofcom Shifting TV Spectrum to Wireless Broadband
Company plans to reallocate 700 MHz spectrum to wireless broadband
November 21, 2012
|U.K. telecommunications regulator Ofcom
announced last week that it plans to reallocate 700 MHz spectrum
currently used for broadcast DTV to wireless broadband.
“Within the coming months we will hold the UK’s largest ever
auction of mobile spectrum for 4G, said Ed Richards, Ofcom’s chief executive. “However,
that may not be enough to meet consumers’ future data demands, which is why we
are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G. Our plans
are designed to avoid a ‘capacity crunch’, ensuring that the U.K.’s mobile
infrastructure can continue to support the inescapable growth in consumer
demand and economic growth more generally.”
Ofcom said its plans “also seek to ensure the long-term
future of digital terrestrial TV (DTT), which performs an important role in
providing low-cost, near universal access to the public service TV channels.”
Ofcom will achieve this by “ensuring alternative frequencies
are available for DTT when the next generation of mobile broadband is
introduced towards the end of the decade.” For the “vast majority of viewers”
the change will be a “simple retune of existing TV equipment” but Ofcom said a
small minority of consumers may need to change their roof-top aerials, likely
sometime after 2018.
The Ofcom release includes a link to an assortment of coverage maps for many
broadcast and mobile services.