To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2014 to Question 206823, what assessment his Department has made of the future possibility of mobile network operators demanding access to more spectrum; what steps his Department is taking to test the validity of such future demands; and if he will make a statement.
Ofcom published a statement in May on its strategy to deal with the growing demand for mobile data services.
In that document Ofcom highlighted that there are a wide range of long term forecasts both in terms of traffic levels and set out the subsequent implications for future spectrum requirements. Ofcom will continue to review the growth in mobile data demand, and consequently how much spectrum (in addition to public sector spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands and the proposed release of the 700 MHz band) it might be beneficial to make available for mobile data services in the future. However, this type of analysis is inherently subject to a high degree of uncertainty, and therefore Ofcom is working to ensure there are sufficient spectrum options for the future to deal with this demand if and when it emerges.