Ofcom to Release 4G Spectrum Sooner Than Originally Planned

Ofcom has announced that it will be releasing Digital Dividend radio spectrum sooner than it had planned in order to speed up the deployment of LTE based services.

The spectrum will now be cleared and ready for 4G mobile services across much of the UK five months earlier than previously planned, from spring 2013.

Following technical planning work, the clearance date for TV transmitters in Oxford and Waltham, which would otherwise prevent deployment of 4G mobile services to around 9 million people in cities including London, Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield will be brought forward by five months to May 2013.

Similarly, the clearance date for transmitters which impact around 1 million people in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh will be brought forward by more than three months to April 2013.

The 4G license auction will start at the end of this year, with bidding starting early in 2013.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “The actions we have taken with industry and government avoids the risk of significant delay and is tremendous news for consumers who might otherwise have waited a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services. Ofcom’s objective has always been to release the spectrum as early as possible and we remain focused on starting the auction by the end of the year.”

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