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UK government aims to double spectrum revenues

The UK government has said that aims for spectrum to double its contribution to the economy to more than £100 billion by 2025. 

In a paper on UK spectrum strategy, published yesterday, Ed Vaizey, minister for culture, communications and creative industries, said that the government’s “vision” for the use of spectrum was to foster contribution growth by “offering business the access it needs to innovate and grow, and everyone in the UK the services they need to live their lives to the full.”

He said that in economic terms, spectrum is “already worth over £50bn a year to the UK economy” and that the aim is “for use of spectrum to double its annual contribution to the economy by 2025.”

Part of the government’s plan is to push the UK to the “forefront of developing 5G mobile technology,” which is expected to rollout at the end of the decade.

The paper said 5G would provide “‘always sufficient’ bandwidth to give the consumer the perception of infinite capacity.” However it warned that the government needs to encourage UK academia and industry to fund research into 5G.

“Developments such as 5G, big data, the internet of things, machine to machine (M2M) communications, broadcasting, cloud computing, internet access and smart cities will all use connectivity that is dependent on various forms of radio and fixed communications,” said the paper.

“These developments will be based on new and innovative forms of wireless communication. This will increase demand for spectrum, which will be partially solved by making use of higher frequencies [than] at present. But much of the demand will have to be satisfied by better use of existing spectrum. TV white spaces is a currently developing example of what is generically call Dynamic Spectrum Access.”