It would appear that a fight for radio spectrum space for future technology is on the horizon. In the United Kingdom mobile operators are still eagerly anticipating the auction of 4G mobile airwaves, however some have already begun to look at 5G services–which are currently in lab testing, but still years away from deployment.
The idea is that 5G mobile services would use the 700MHz radio spectrum band that is currently used by digital terrestrial television. This would force digital television operators to move to a lower bandwidth 600MHz spectrum and could all but cripple the digital terrestrial television market. But is that really a concern, with more users adopting mobile and tablet devices for their entertainment needs?
“Within the coming months we will hold the UK’s largest-ever auction of mobile spectrum for 4G,” said Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards. “However, that may not be enough to meet consumers’ future data demands, which is why we are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G.” Those “future data demands” could very well include live-streaming television–which would almost eliminate the need for terrestrial television to need a higher bandwidth spectrum.
Regulators believe that various tech industries need to focus on 5G now, because in another fifteen years, or in 2030, mobile data consumption is believed to be more than 80 times higher than today–and they are pointing to the fact that mobile data use has doubled in the last year alone as evidence of this. Britons, according to a report, now consume over 20 million GB’s of mobile data per month, compared to just nine GB’s last year.