The Identified Spectrum Bands
White Spaces (600MHz):
Around 20 organisations are currently participating in a 6 month pilot to road-test ‘white space’ technology, which harnesses the spare spectrum that exists between digital terrestrial TV channels for data and Internet communications (e.g. rural broadband provision). At present this is focused on the 700MHz (DTTV) band but after around 2018 if DTTV is moved into 600MHz then White Spaces would most likely follow.
While no decisions have yet been made, Ofcom is investigating the potential to rearrange the bands used for Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV). This could release more of this prime spectrum for mobile broadband (possibly 5G) use sometime after 2018, while ensuring that consumers would continue to have the opportunity to benefit from digital terrestrial TV (the preliminary idea is that TV could be moved into the 600MHz band).
The 2.7GHz band is currently being used for radar but Ofcom believes that it could potentially release up to 100MHz of spectrum from here for other uses.
2.3GHz, 3.4 GHz:
Ofcom is working closely with the Ministry of Defence (here) to move this spectrum from the public sector into commercial use. This spectrum is suitable for mobile broadbandand could be released through an auction in 2015-16. The public sector has access to just over half of the UK spectrum, and Ofcom is working with Government to identify ways of increasing opportunities for commercial access in the future.
Note: similar spectrum between 3480 – 3500MHz and 3580 – 3600MHz (3.4-3.6GHz) is already under licence for civil use by UK Broadband (PCCW), which has since launched it its own fixed wireless 4G LTE network in places like Scunthorpe and Swindon
The 3.6GHz band is used for Satellite links but Ofcom believes that some of it could be shared with mobile users.