The UK’s mobile networks could be set to bag more spectrum for their 4G superfast mobile broadband and data services.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has asked the networks and other potential bidders to give their views on plans to auction spectrum currently used by the Ministry of Defence.
The new capacity is in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands which Ofcom says “could be suitable for providing very high data capacity” and which are already used for 4G services in other countries.
A number of popular smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, HTC and Samsung, already make handsets capable of using the bands while wireless broadband provider Relish users the 3.4 GHz band in London for its services.
The auction would allow mobile networks to add to the spectrum they bought in Ofcom’s earlier 4G sale, although the regulator says caps will be imposed to ensure fair competition.
Philip Marnick, Ofcom Spectrum Group Director, said: “Today marks an important step in ensuring that the UK has sufficient spectrum to support our wireless economy.
“It comes in response to the fast pace of change and innovation taking place in the communications sector, which is placing increased demands on how spectrum is used by all industries.
“One important way of meeting this demand is making new spectrum available and its use as flexible as possible.”