Feeds

UK military faces spectrum sell off

Forces rely on air power to pay the bills

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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.®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.