UK gears up for white space broadband rollout in 2014

UK regulator Ofcom has invited industry players to take part in a pilot of "white space" technology in the UK this autumn and said the technology could be fully rolled out during 2014 if the pilot is successful.

The technology uses the gaps reserved between airwaves for digital terrestrial TV broadcasting called "white spaces" and is seen as one way of meeting the growing demand for data in the UK.

"Ofcom is preparing for a future where consumers' demand for data services will experience huge growth," said Ed Richards, Ofcom CEO. "This will be fuelled by smartphones, tablets and other new wireless applications. White space technology is one creative way that this demand can be met. We are aiming to facilitate this important innovation by working closely with industry."

Ofcom added that it is separately planning to free up more spectrum in the future for the next generation of high-speed mobile data services, already dubbed "5G", and has recently launched a consultation on releasing frequencies in the 700 MHz frequency band.

The UK has been taking a leading role in Europe on the deployment of white space spectrum for wireless broadband services. GigaOM noted that there are also initiatives underway in Finland, Ireland and France, while there has been a strong focus on white space technology in the US.

For more:
- see this release
- see this GigaOM article

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