As anticipated, Ofcom has now published its decision to make spectrum in the 700 MHz band, previously used for broadcasting digital terrestrial television (DTT) and programme making and special events (PMSE), available for mobile data use. Ofcom considers that "enabling the 700 MHz band to be used for mobile data will allow mobile networks to provide better performance at a lower cost, which will bring considerable benefits to citizens and consumers".
Ofcom reiterates its commitment to ensuring that these changes occur in such a manner as to minimise disruption, and safeguarding the benefits to consumers that DTT and PMSE offer by moving these to other frequencies. It is anticipated that the changes to existing uses will take place in 2019, at which time viewers may need to retune their television sets.
Ofcom hopes to make the 700 MHz band available for use in transmitting mobile data no later than 2022, and have already begun work to make the changes.