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Ofcom mulling plans for 5G spectrum to avoid “capacity crunch”

The UK’s regulatory body for telecommunications, Ofcom, is already looking into 5G spectrum technology as it predicts that the exponential growth in data usage will choke today’s 4G networks faster than expected.

Speaking to the Financial Times, the CTO of the entity, Steven Unger, said that he predicted an increase in data traffic of 8,000 per cent by 2030, 17 years from now, that translates into a fairly reasonable 25 to 30 per cent growth year on year. In comparison, the average monthly amount of data used by mobile broadband users in the UK doubled from 9PB in 2011 to 20PB in 2012.

He added "There are three ways to meet the demand for more data – more spectrum, better use of spectrum and more cell sites, We need to progress on all three fronts, which is in effect what we mean by 5G, to meet the 80-fold increase in data usage we predict by 2030."

One wonders whether the timing of the consultation has anything to do with the fact that the National Audit Office forthcoming probe into the recent 4G auction which brought in significantly less than the expected £3.5 billion.