Ofcom planning to combat 5G mobile broadband data crunch

Freeview moving to a new frequency to accommodate 5G, but not for a while

Communications regulator is already planning for 5G mobile internet as data usage doubles in a year

The UK has taken its sweet time getting on board with 4G mobile internet, so despite being at least five years away from a potential deployment, Ofcom is working towards the eventual launch of fifth generation speeds.

The communications regulator says it will seek to avoid a potential 'data crunch' by moving Freeview television signals to a different radio frequency in order to make way for 5G connectivity, which should be arriving by about 2018.

Currently Freeview resides on the 700MHz spectrum, but it'll be moved to the 600MHz frequency when 5G connectivity comes along. This will mean another digital TV switchover.

The announcement came as Ofcom revealed that our mobile data usage is snowballing. Usage has more than doubled to 20 million GB last month compared to 9 million GB of data consumed during the same period last year.

Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said: “Within the coming months we will hold the UK’s largest-ever auction of mobile spectrum for 4G. However, that may not be enough to meet consumers’ future data demands, which is why we are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G.

"To help meet this demand and avert a possible ‘capacity crunch', more mobile spectrum is needed over the long term, together with new technologies to make mobile broadband more efficient.

"Ofcom is preparing plans now to support the release of spectrum for future mobile services, possibly ‘5G’, when the spectrum becomes available."

Via: PC Pro