Ofcom launches consultation on bands above 6GHz

20 January 2015 |


Ofcom has opened consultation on the use of spectrum bands above 6GHz which are expected to be suitable for supporting 5G mobile services.

The UK regulator said the move was necessary to build an understanding of how these frequencies might be used to serve consumers in the future.

It is expected that 5G will offer much faster speeds, estimated at 10 to 50 Gbps compared to existing average 4G download speeds of 15 Mbps.

Frequencies of 6GHz and above are used by various organisations, from scientific research to satellite broadcasting and weather monitoring. Ofcom said these bands have the potential to serve very high demand users, and could support a range of uses such as financial trading, entertainment, gaming and holographic projections.

“We want the UK to be a leader in the next-generation of wireless communications. Working with industry, we want to lay the foundations for the UK’s next generation of wireless communications, said Steve Unger, Ofcom’s acting chief executive.

“5G must deliver a further step change in the capacity of wireless networks, over and above that currently being delivered by 4G. No network has infinite capacity, but we need to move closer to the ideal of there always being sufficient capacity to meet consumers’ needs.”

The consultation period will end February 27. The timeframe for the launch of 5G services is unclear, said Ofcom, although commercial applications could emerge by 2020.