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This article was published on January 16, 2015

    UK telecom regulator mulls 6GHz spectrum use for 5G services by around 2020

    UK telecom regulator mulls 6GHz spectrum use for 5G services by around 2020
    Ben Woods
    Story by

    Ben Woods

    Europe Editor

    Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

    UK telecom watchdog Ofcom has today announced the beginning of a consultation with key industry players around how best to prepare the UK for an incoming wave of 5G services, which are predicted to start arriving in around 2020.

    The organization has mooted the possibility of using “very high frequency spectrum” in the 6GHz band to host services, which will likely include high-speed financial trading transactions, 4K entertainment and gaming, “holographic projections”, and a number of varied business uses.

    The theory behind using the higher-than-regular bands for mobile usage (sub-3GHz bands are generally used around the world for existing mobile data services) is that large blocks of spectrum are required to generate the highest speeds – hence turning to relatively lesser-used frequencies.

    While this is all just preparation for the arrival of 5G services – a formal definition for which is yet to be set in stone – Ofcom wants to start consulting with industry to ensure that the rollout, whenever it does actually arrive, goes as smoothly as possible.

    If the 6GHz band is used, Ofcom would likely have to find alternative arrangements for the scientific research, satellite broadcasting and weather monitoring organizations that are using the frequency today.

    ➤ Laying the foundations for ‘5G’ mobile [Ofcom]

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