November 2017

In June 2017 the debate regarding the long-term future of the 470-960MHz band was initiated at the European Spectrum Management Conference in Brussels, questioning whether the existing allocations were fit for purpose in the long-term. In our report we considered the option of creating a ‘defragmentation dividend’ by reconfiguring the existing band plans between 694-960 MHz to make additional capacity available to mobile services and other spectrum users. We highlight the large potential benefits from defragmentation, such as the increase in additional downlink capacity for mobile-based services and better positioning to exploit future technologies such as 5G. Our analysis highlighted key principles that would expect to guide any defragmentation, influencing our recommendations to UK policy makers.

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