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Ofcom readies spectrum review

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Ofcom is due to publish next week yet another review covering the UK's radio spectrum.

In November, the UK's communications regulator published the Spectrum Framework Review - its strategy for securing the best use of the civilian radio spectrum.

In that review Ofcom outlined how it wanted to use market forces to eliminate inefficiencies in spectrum management that have, it claims, "limited the innovation and development of higher-value services".

The Review's recommendations call in part for greater flexibility to allow licensed spectrum - covering applications ranging from taxi two-way radios to mobile phones, TV and radio - to be allocated and traded on the open market. It also suggests more spectrum be deregulated.

While this review dealt with Ofcom's "vision" for spectrum, the yet-to-be-published document deals more with the "practicalities" of making the strategy work.

The Spectrum Framework Review: Implementation Plan was anticipated to be published before Christmas. It should now hit the streets next Thursday, an Ofcom spokesman confirmed today.

The report is expected to contain details of how the UK's giant telecoms regulator plans to flog unused part of the spectrum which could be used for high-speed data services such as video and net access.

The document is also expected to list 14 or 15 bands of spectrum available to the market to give potential bidders the opportunity to see what's on offer.

According to Reuters, Ofcom is still keen to auction off parts of the spectrum, although this has raised eyebrows in the industry still trying to come to terms with the £22.5bn sploshed out on licences four years ago. ®

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