Ofcom offers MoD spectrum to meet growing demands


The regulator is drumming up interest in a chunk of radio spectrum which has been released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for civil use

Communications industry regulator Ofcom has invited stakeholders to express interest in spectrum that has been released by the MoD.

The 190MHz of radio spectrum being released is equivalent to around three-quarters of the 4G spectrum auctioned by Ofcom to operators in February 2013, potentially increasing the capacity for 4G applications.

Ofcom said its initial view is that the bands will be particularly attractive to companies seeking to deliver 4G wireless broadband services. However, the regulator added it is open to “alternative views” on how the spectrum could be used.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards commented: “This is a very significant next step forward in Ofcom’s long-term strategy for managing spectrum. Over the next decade we will see a revolution in the way that people connect to the internet, driven by the ability to wirelessly access the internet at super fast speeds.

“4G is likely to open up a new wave of wireless innovation that will deliver considerable benefits to society and the UK’s digital economy.

“However this development will also place huge demands on the UK’s wireless infrastructure. Releasing MOD spectrum onto the commercial marketplace is an important step in helping to meet this extraordinary demand.”

Ofcom has given stakeholders until 27 November to express an interest, with the spectrum expected to be awarded in the financial year 2015-16.