Spectrum sharing should be a policy priority, report says

Spectrum sharing should be a policy priority, report says

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Spectrum sharing between UK operators should become a policy priority according to a new report from the UK Spectrum Policy Forum (UK SPF).

The research, made in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) was released this week and gives some insight on how current shared spectrum access is creating the conditions for new players to provide innovative 5G services.

SPF Cluster 3 – The Future of Spectrum Sharing in the UK provides a summary of workshops on spectrum sharing held between June 18, 2021, and September 30, 2021, and lists six key recommendations for the UK government and Ofcom on how to improve spectrum sharing in the UK.

The research found that the UK has made good progress with the introduction of the Ofcom spectrum sharing schemes, but indicated that there is a risk that if a future spectrum sharing roadmap is not actively worked on by DCMS and Ofcom, the UK could lag behind other countries.

Dr Abhaya Sumanasena, Chair of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum steering board, said:

“Network operators’ requirement for more spectrum to meet the ever-increasing data demand, coupled with the increasing challenge for regulators to find usable frequency bands, is forcing the industry to evaluate alternative options.

“Spectrum sharing is increasingly viewed as a realistic means to help address the demand/supply imbalance.

“We are delighted to see the outcome of Cluster 3’s spectrum sharing work, which captures the latest thinking from the industry. We hope the outcome and the recommendations of this work will help policymakers to further develop spectrum sharing as a viable solution to spectrum scarcity.”

The report also examines the potential for Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) to be introduced in the UK in either current shared access bands or in other bands.

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