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Ofcom's opening up more spectrum to cope with UK mobile data demands

Matt Brian, @m4tt

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While Ofcom is busy soliciting opinion on whether it should open up more 4G spectrum to carriers, it's already taking the necessary steps to ease mobile data congestion in the UK. The regulator today announced that it will open up the 700 MHz spectrum, allowing mobile networks to enhance their data services for lower cost. With its longer wavelength, the 700 MHz band is particularly well suited for data. It can travel longer distances without degrading but also penetrate further into buildings, meaning it's useful in both rural and urban environments. It also helps that the UK isn't alone in wanting to utilise the frequency, with France, Sweden and Finland all announcing plans to use band. Ofcom plans to make spectrum available by 2022, but will first need to reallocate digital TV and wireless event communication signals to let carriers tap it for mobile broadband. Luckily, you won't need to do anything until 2019 at the very latest, and even then you'll probably only need to retune your television.

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