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UK temporarily giving LTE spectrum to cameras for 2012 Olympics, tells carriers not to worry about it

Chris Ziegler

You might recall that British regulator Ofcom recently got things in order for an auction late next year of Old Blighty's 2.6GHz spectrum for 4G use, but it turns out that spectrum's going to make a quick pit stop before reaching its final destination. Broadcasters at the London Olympics have been given the green light to use the bandwidth -- which will have already been sold by the time the games kick off in mid-2012 -- for wireless cameras, with the government saying it's fairly certain that carriers wouldn't have had an opportunity to deploy LTE in that spectrum by then anyway. Though Ofcom's original spectrum utilization plan from last year didn't call for using 2.6GHz, it apparently got a wake-up call from the Vancouver games, which revealed higher demand for both wireless cameras and 3D broadcasts than the agency had anticipated -- and unlike carriers, which are expected to pay billions of pounds sterling for LTE rights, Ofcom will be extending use of the bandwidth to broadcasters during the Games gratis. Awfully kind of them, isn't it?

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