Ofcom has announced plans for the auction of capacity known as the digital dividend, the UHF spectrum due to be released as a result of analogue switch-off, representing about a third of the capacity. “The spectrum in question is an exceptionally valuable and important resource,” explained Philip Rutnam, Partner, Spectrum Policy Group. “It’s important because at these frequencies the signals travel further and can carry large amounts of data compared to frequencies at other levels inthe spectrum.” He said it was important that Ofcom get the framework right for future decades.
Following two years of work into the value of the services to society, Ofcom has concluded that there is no need to intervene to ensure a particular type of service is delivered. “Mobile broadband services we see as important potential sources of social value alongside further digital terrestrial television. We don’t find though that there is a clear case that any one service requires spectrum.” The exception will be wireless microphones, which was the subject of a lobbying campaign, though the campaign for gifted HD spectrum has already been resolved in part through a reshuffle of existing DTT channels.
Ofcom has identified the following services that would be suitable for use with the released spectrum:
- ultra-fast wireless broadband services;
- mobile television;
- more digital terrestrial television channels in either standard or high-definition;
- local television;
- wireless microphones; and
- low-power applications developed from wi-fi.
A further consultation on the design of the spectrum awards will take place in the spring.
Watch Ofcom Statement