Ofcom thinking about 5G already
The regulator has started a consultation on how to meet growing demands on networks for communications, saying that a number of spectrum bands "have been identified as potential candidates for future mobile broadband use".
And it'll be massive. The next generation networks represent "approximately seven times the amount of spectrum released as part of the 4G auction".
Ofcom are looking at the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum, currently used by the Ministry of Defence, which probably sounds more exciting that it actually is. 5G won't make spies of us all sadly. Basically, the goal is to move some of those bands from the public sector to commercial use. An auction could happen as soon as 2015 or 2016.
They're also weighing up using the 700MHz band used by terrestrial TV the 2.7GHz band used for radar. It's also considering opening up the 3.6GHz spectrum used for satellite links.
Ofcom said that there isn't an "unlimited supply" of spectrum. "Ofcom has to balance the interests of all spectrum users and ensure that this scarce national resource is used as efficiently as possible. The public sector has access to just over half of the UK spectrum, and Ofcom is working with government to identify ways of increasing opportunities for commercial access in the future," it added.