Feeds

UK forces offer to temporarily share some spectrum

However we'll be selling it to someone else soon

High performance access to file storage

The Ministry of Defence is offering shared access to some significant chunks of radio spectrum, though only until 2015 when it expects to sell it off properly.

The chunks up for sharing include 80MHz of spectrum starting at 3500MHz, and 70MHz counting from 3410MHz. But not anywhere near the Olympics, and users will be expected to pay for the bands, and they should be ready to clear out before the new owners move in come 2015.

The last stipulation should stop anyone investing significant resources into the bands. No one is going to build out infrastructure, offering wireless broadband or similar, when they know they can have the airwaves pulled from under them by the highest bidder when the spectrum finally hits the block.

Arqiva, which manages radio networks for just about everyone in the UK, has even put out a statement applauding the idea, but taking issue with the details: "Releasing spectrum on a short term lease ... won't allow operators to take advantage of it now. They won't be able to see a return on their network investment."

But the bands will be available for trials and testing, which is probably what the MoD has in mind. These days the Ministry is being asked to pay an annual fee for the huge swathes of radio spectrum allocated to it, the idea being to encourage careful consideration of its spectrum requirements. That has already prompted the auction schedule, but the bands aren't expected to be completely cleared until 2015 so can't be nationally licensed until then.

So anyone who fancies using the bands ahead of time should drop the MoD a line saying where and when, and might like to take a look at some of the other bands the UK military is thinking about sharing, ahead of flogging them off.

There are a couple of 2MHz bands at 870MHz and 915MHz, and a larger block (25MHz) at 1427MHz as well as progressively-bigger chunks around 2GHz, 5GHz and 10GHz. The MoD isn't sure if there's enough interest to share those blocks, so if you're interested be sure to drop them a line before December 16.

The problem with all these bands is finding kit which will operate on them, and at a cost-effective price. Of the bands being looked at by the MoD, only 3500MHz is internationally harmonised (for European broadband), so there's little incentive for manufacturers to make radios operating in any of the other bands, which in turn makes exploiting them an expensive proposition – especially if you're going to get moved on in three years. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.