UK launches spectrum forum to develop national strategy for spectrum

UK launches spectrum forum to develop national strategy for spectrum

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The Forum, which was launched by Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, is an initiative to bring together the needs of industry, government and regulators to maximise the benefits of spectrum for the UK. This comes at a time of growing awareness of the importance of wireless spectrum to the UK, and will consider the relationship between TV and cellular, the needs of government, military and emergency services, developments in Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G mobile devices amongst others.

Real Wireless is Europe’s leading expert advisory firm on wireless technology and strategy, and being chosen for this role reflects the company’s reputation for both technical expertise and independence in being able to reconcile the views of the different groups.

Spectrum is a critical element in economic growth and social activities: wireless systems, for which spectrum is essential, are at the heart of an increasing array of products and services across the whole economy. The wireless spectrum is a scarce resource, delivering £52 billion of value per year (1) to the British economy and balancing the needs of different users is a challenging task. In a recent study Real Wireless forecast a need for extra allocations of 200-300 MHz of licensed spectrum for mobile applications and 350 MHz of spectrum for Wi-Fi applications by 2020 to meet even a medium forecast of growing demand (2). This has to be achieved without compromising on the needs of other sectors such as transportation, emergency service and many others.

The Forum is Chaired by Professor Jim Norton, and has groups looking at both the demands for spectrum and the regulatory environment in UK and globally. Real Wireless Director Professor Simon Saunders will be chairing the group considering applications and the future requirements. The scope of this group includes: what the new technologies and applications will be and how they will be used; what these mean for spectrum demand; what needs to be done to ensure adequate and appropriate availability of spectrum.

Professor Saunders commented, “Wireless is an essential part of our daily life and global economy. Whether it is voice phone calls, broadband data, emergency services or M2M those all rely on enough of the right spectrum being available; but as consumers use more services and as new technology advances there is a pressing demand for more spectrum. We have seen from the difficulties of digital switchover or the debate on the balance of licensed and licence-exempt spectrum that these decisions are not easy, and as we consider the demands of emergency services and military then they become even harder. And yet if the UK is to progress with 5G or to seize the opportunities presented by M2M and IoT then the need for a spectrum strategy that reconciles these different desires is critical. Real Wireless is proud to have been asked by the Spectrum Forum to chair this group and to support its initiative in this way”.


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