Feeds

UK military faces spectrum sell off

Forces rely on air power to pay the bills

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) may sell off some of its reserved radio spectrum, potentially for large sums. Guidelines for sale of military frequencies are being drawn up by the communications regulator, Ofcom.

“Public bodies and the MoD in particular hold some of the most valuable and sought-after radio spectrum," said Ofcom chief Ed Richards earlier today.

"By working with these organisations we are enabling them to trade and release this spectrum which will create new opportunities for the development of wireless services for the whole country."

The idea behind allowing public bodies to trade in spectrum is that market conditions will ensure the most economically efficient use of the available capability, so benefiting the nation as a whole.

According to the regulator, public-sector organisations hold around half the spectrum in the desirable sub-15GHz range, with the MoD accounting for three-quarters of this (or about a third overall). Ofcom indicated that the government bands could be worth anywhere from £3bn to £20bn+, suggesting that the MoD is sitting on up to £15bn-worth of air.

The MoD is said to be "committed to sharing", and will consult on proposals in May. With the UK defence budget currently under severe pressure, it's certainly believable that the military brass may be eager to make sales - even if they don't get to keep the money. Under Treasury accounting rules introduced in recent years, holding onto the spectrum could cause serious financial difficulties if the frequencies stay on the MoD balance sheet as capital assets.®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Rural mobile coverage: Tweeting twits to join chirping tits in UK's national parks
Yup, someone IS gabbering behind you on the hiking trail
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.