Ofcom 5G plans

Ofcom has announced plans for 5G mobile broadband services to avoid a 'capacity crunch'.

Data usage is on the rise and demand could be 80 times greater by 2030, according to Ofcom. The regulator if making plans to release extra spectrum for 5G mobile broadband to avoid a 'capacity crunch'. See also: 4G vs 3G network hands-on speed test.

Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, said: "Within the coming months we will hold the UK’s largest-ever auction of mobile spectrum for 4G. However, that may not be enough to meet consumers’ future data demands, which is why we are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G."

"Our plans are designed to avoid a ‘capacity crunch’, ensuring that the UK’s mobile infrastructure can continue to support the inescapable growth in consumer demand and economic growth more generally."

What is 4G? A complete guide to 4G.

Mobile broadband users are consuming twice as much data compared with last year, and this will no doubt increase with the introduction of faster 4G.

It's the 700MHz spectrum which Ofcom plans to free up for potential 5G services. It's currently being used for digital terrestrial TV but could be migrated to 600MHz without the need for a digital switchover.

The plan is to harmonise the spectrum used Europe and the rest of the world. Ofcom said an international spectrum plan is unlikely to be completed before 2018. This should help availability of handsets and make prices lower for consumers.

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