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Ofcom outlines plans for cheaper, faster 4G in the UK

Luke Johnson



Faster, more affordable mobile internet is heading to the UK as regulator Ofcom confirms plans to free up the country’s 4G spectrum.

Despite the UK having only taken its first tentative steps into the 4G movement two years ago, the existing spectrums are already starting to face congestion. Looking to free up bandwidths for the future, Ofcom has revealed it will open up the 700 MHz spectrum for mobile networks.

Although the 700 MHz spectrum is currently used for digital terrestrial services such as Freeview, Ofcom has suggested there will be no disruption to these platforms.

Enabling the 700 MHz band to be used for mobile date will allow mobile networks to provide better performance at a lower cost, which will bring considerable benefits to citizens and consumers,” the Ofcom report reads.

For those expecting to see their mobile data fees come tumbling down following this announcement, you're going to have a considerable wait on your hands.

The regulator has added: “Our objective is to make the band available for mobile by the start of 2022 and sooner if possible.

“Given the substantial amount of effort that will be required to give effect to this decision, we will begin implementation works immediately.”

According to Dominic Baliszewski, a telecoms expert at BroadbandChoices: “The decision to free up more frequencies for mobile broadband is a bit like opening a new lane on a busy motorway for certain types of traffic - this will mean more capacity and better speeds.”

He added: “This announcement will be of particularly good news to people in rural areas. The 700Mhz band is better at passing through walls and can travel further than other frequencies.

“The means that people in rural areas, or other areas with historically poor coverage, might stand to benefit the most from this announcement.”

Read More: 5G vs 4G: The future of mobile networks


November 19, 2014, 1:23 pm

8 years!?!? Isn't when 5G is supposed to be out?


November 19, 2014, 4:26 pm

I'd be very surprised if they just "free up" this spectrum rather than auction it off...

however if they do auction it off, then any cost benefit to consumers instantly evaporates because the Telcos won't have recouped their costs from the 4G spectrum auction (where they also hadn't fully recouped their costs from the 3G auctions!)

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