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January 20, 2020
Ofcom noted that demand for data is growing, with households now using 315 GB of broadband data a month, which is the equivalent of watching up to four hours of HD video content a day. Additionally, new services are being developed that require reliable connections, on the move.
To help meet this growing need, Ofcom is proposing to make 500 MHz of additional spectrum available for WiFi in the 6 GHz frequency band. These airwaves will be available without the need for a licence.
The aim of these measures is to help people get a more reliable connection across all devices using WiFi in the home and in the office. They will support new innovative uses for very low power outdoor use, such as Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR).
Ofcom is also proposing to open access to 18.2 GHz of spectrum in the 100-200 GHz band range, which is part of the Extremely High Frequency (EHF) spectrum. Spectrum above 100 GHz will open up new opportunities to develop innovative wireless services across a range of industries in the future. These could include:
- very high speed data links — necessary for 3D holograms and future internet of things (IoT) applications;
- high precision industrial use — micro positioning robots and testing manufactured products;
- health screening applications — for the earlier detection of conditions such as skin cancer.
Ofcom says that this is part of its ongoing work to support wireless innovation by making sure people and organisations can easily access the spectrum they need.
The deadline for responses to both consultations is 20 March 2020. To access the consultations, click here.