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Ofcom proposes 800Mhz band for mobile broadband


In a dramatic turnaround, Ofcom looks set to make a wider band of spectrum available for mobile broadband services than originally proposed.

Mobile operators are pleased by the announcement, as it will mean mobile broadband services can be provided on a cheaper, more flexible basis.

However, the news has not been welcomed by those organise concerts, musicals and outside broadcasts, as they were hoping to benefit from the change in the way Ofcom sells off the airwaves freed up by the shift to digital TV.

Originally Ofcom had said it would reserve spectrum in the 800Mhz band for wireless microphones and digital terrestrial TV services, but it now proposes to make the whole 800MHz band available for mobile broadband and related services.

"Ofcom has realised that there is momentum in Europe for mobile broadband so has had to co-operate," said Matthew Howett, an analyst with research firm Ovum.

In a statement, Ofcom said: "Our strategy is to release the digital dividend in a way that gives users as much freedom and flexibility as possible to decide how it is used, creating major new opportunities for competition and innovation in communications."


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