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Ofcom Eyes 700MHz Spectrum For Soaring Mobile Broadband Demands

The explosion in smartphone growth is causing a knock-on effect when it comes to mobile broadband, and that's a problem which is going to get much worse in the future.

According to Ofcom, by the time the year 2030 rolls around, the UK's mobile data demands are likely to have increased eighty-fold on current surfing needs. And that's using a medium-level growth model - a high growth could see that upped to more like a factor of 300.

This issue is the subject of a new consultation from Ofcom, which looks at how best to adapt to those soaring needs. The organisation believes that the 700MHz band could be freed up to help deal with UK network operators' mobile data requirements.

The 700MHz band, currently employed for digital terrestrial TV, could be switched to mobile operators as early as the year 2018, in an effort to keep up with the nation's many data gobbling mobile devices.

That's Ofcom's idea anyway, and the consultation asks for feedback from networks and other concerned parties.

More spectrum will of course be made available in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies with the upcoming 4G LTE auction and roll out, but that won't be nearly enough going forward according to Ofcom.

The consultation is set to be wound up at the end of the first week of June, with Ofcom then evaluating the feedback it has received on the potential move. We'll let you know more as we hear it.

Source: Ofcom (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.