Ofcom Completes TV Spectrum Clearing

UK Telecom regulator Ofcom announced that as of July 31, “Path clear for 4G, as airwave clearance is complete”. The 4G spectrum cleared is at 800 MHz and was previously used for broadcasting digital TV. Clearing the spectrum required work at more than 600 transmitters across the United Kingdom. In addition, wireless microphone systems using this spectrum had to change operating frequencies or be replaced.

The project was completed five months ahead of schedule, with Ofcom securing an accelerated timetable for releasing the 800 MHz TV spectrum following discussions with TV broadcasters, Digital UK and the Arqiva, the U.K. TV transmission company.

“This week we are clearing the path for 4G mobile broadband, allowing mobile companies to provide coverage across the U.K.,” said Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive. “4G services will reach 98 percent of the U.K. population indoors--and even more when outdoors--which will provide a significant boost for rural businesses and consumers.”

I have more information about Ofcom's plans for TV spectrum use in my Nov. 2012 article Ofcom Shifting TV Spectrum to Wireless Broadband.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack. A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.