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29 July 2013
UK regulator Ofcom will publish formal 5G proposals this autumn, and expects to auction the licences in 2018, Steve Unger, CTO at Ofcom, told reporters.
Despite the very recent
launch of 4G services in the UK by EE, Unger expects 5G
services to begin a new era of "Smart Cities" and M2M
"Everything from road vehicles to dustbins has the potential to
be online, sending and receiving information to help make the
country’s infrastructure more efficient," Unger
"We are starting to consider which categories of smart devices
will need licences from Ofcom, and which might be
'licence-exempt’ to allow greater
The UK regulator is expected to reveal next week that there are
now 5 million smart devices in the country, up 30% on last
Ofcom stated the necessity of 5G in the near future, given
the expected explosion in mobile data, and Unger reiterated his
commitment to this preparation.
"We are all expecting major growth in mobile data, and if
that’s happening, we need to be ready for it. If
it doesn’t happen, there won’t be
enough capacity to meet demand," he said.
Unger also said that Ofcom is expecting to auction 5G licences
in the 700MHz frequency band by 2018.