Communications regulator looks to the future of mobile broadband to avoid a "capacity crunch"
With people now using around 20 million GB of data Ofcom has published plans to avoid what it calls a "capacity crunch" in the future
The communications regulator said that in order to meet consumers' growing demand for data on the move it will release new frequencies to support future mobile services including 5G. Its initial plans focus on the 700 MHz frequency band, which is currently used for digital terrestrial television.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: "Within the coming months we will hold the UK's largest-ever auction of mobile spectrum for 4G. However, that may not be enough to meet consumers' future data demands, which is why we are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G.
"Our plans are designed to avoid a ‘capacity crunch', ensuring that the UK's mobile infrastructure can continue to support the inescapable growth in consumer demand and economic growth more generally."
The regulator said by 2030, "demand for mobile data could be 80 times higher than today". It said while this would require more mobile spectrum in the long term, it was important that different countries use the same frequencies of spectrum for mobile broadband.
This would help to widen the availability of handsets, which should in turn reduce prices for consumers.
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