Report looks at cross-industry spectrum requirements in the medium-long term.
The first of a series of reports on UK Spectrum Usage and Demand has today been launched by the industry-led sounding board to the Government and Ofcom, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum.
The study included views on the importance of spectrum as a national resource fo the space, utilities, business radio, meteorology and mobile industries. The research, by Real Wireless, also featured views of a panel of contributors from each sector.
The UK Spectrum Usage and Demand report aims to foster open discussion and mutual understanding, reflecting on contradictory priorities from different industries. The report revealed the different needs of different sectors in relation to their contributions to social and economic value.
Real Wireless found four key sector trends. Public mobile infrastructure and consequent increasing data consumption will put pressure on spectrum allocations, and change how spectrum is used by the sector.
For the utilities sector, a combination of networks that can provide more security and resilience seems to be taking over with consumers moving away from reliance on wireless and adopting ‘smart’ utilities.
The business radio industry also showed signs that there is a high demand for always-on connectivity and increasing data usage as driving the move to digital radio. The nature of these communications will require a high level of resilience, and for some users this will be a synonym of desire for dedicated spectrum bands in mission-critical scenarios.
A growing sector for the UK is space. The research found that there is the need to preserve and secure existing spectrum holdings and seek expansion opportunities to maintain innovation and investment.
The report today realised comes one year after the publication of the UK Spectrum Strategy, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at CeBIT 2014. Later this year, a second chapter will be made available containing information on Defence, Short-range devices & Wi-Fi, Broadcasting, Amateur Radio, Fixed Wireless Access and Transportation.
Raj Sivalingam, Executive Director of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, said: "Spectrum is a hugely valuable, but limited, resource. The potential social and economic benefits are enormous, so it is important we fully understand future demand across multiple industries.
"Through extensive engagement we will be able to identify the spectrum pinch points, which will guide the future work of UK Spectrum Policy Forum, to inform future policy debates and maximise social and economic benefits from spectrum in the long-term."
Professor Simon Saunders, Director of Technology at Real Wireless, said: "Real Wireless was commissioned to provide a snapshot of current spectrum usage and expected long-term future needs of the major users of spectrum in the UK. The report identifies the business and societal activities that depend on spectrum and associated drivers of value.
"We found that there are multiple industries with sometimes conflicting requirements, so the work of the Spectrum Policy Forum is of vital importance if UK industries are to get the most from wireless services. At Real Wireless we work to bridge that gap between the users of wireless and the suppliers of wireless services."