Thursday, December 13, 2007

Choice, competition, innovation: Delivering the benefits of the Digital Dividend | Ofcom

These decisions create new opportunities for a wide range of uses:

1. National digital terrestrial television in standard or high definition. Ofcom has already demonstrated that new High Definition and Standard Definition channels can be delivered on Freeview without the need for any digital dividend spectrum. This was the subject of proposals published by Ofcom on 21 November 2007. In addition, Ofcom will package the cleared spectrum in a way that makes it suitable for more digital terrestrial television, but it will not be reserved for this use.
2. Cognitive radio. This is a new wireless technology that shares with other services by detecting when spectrum is not being used. It is hoped that cognitive radio devices will be able to work together to create so-called ‘mesh networks’ that can support a range of wireless applications such as high-speed broadband access across urban and rural locations. Ofcom is proposing to allow cognitive radio to use the interleaved spectrum provided it can be shown this does not cause interference to other spectrum users.
3. High speed mobile broadband and mobile television. Our market research has found keen interest in high speed mobile broadband. We will package the cleared spectrum in a way that makes it suitable but not reserved for these uses.
4. Local television. Ofcom will auction packages of interleaved spectrum suitable but not reserved for local television in some 25 locations across the UK where there is evidence of demand to provide this type of service.
5. PMSE spectrum users. Ofcom will award most of the available interleaved spectrum by ‘beauty contest’ to a band manager who will be required to manage spectrum for PMSE users. This process will be designed to ensure that the licensee’s interests are aligned with those of PMSE users. The licensee will earn revenue by charging for access to the spectrum but will be required to meet reasonable demand from PMSE users on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. These measures will ensure that PMSE users can continue to access spectrum while moving towards a more market-based approach over time.