1.1 In August 2013 we published a consultation and technical research studies which explored the potential role that spectrum accessed on a shared basis could play in meeting the significant growth in demand for mobile broadband and wireless data capacity.
1.2 Based on stakeholder responses and our own analysis, we have identified three key areas where spectrum sharing can play an important role in delivering future benefits to citizens and consumers:
- For indoor use: ensuring that Wi-Fi based on shared spectrum can continue to provide high speed wireless network connectivity, so that consumers can fully benefit from the increasing availability of superfast broadband;
- For outdoor use: increasing access to spectrum for use in a growing number of small mobile broadband cells, which we anticipate will be deployed to help meet the growth in demand for mobile data capacity driven by the increasing use of smartphones and tablet PCs; and
- For internet of things (IoT) use: helping provide the spectrum needed to support growth and innovation in the emerging IoT sector, which is set to see hundreds of millions of devices become wirelessly interconnected by the end of the decade. These new services have the potential to provide benefits across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, energy distribution, transport and agriculture.
1.3 In addition, our Spectrum Management Strategy, also published today, sets out the wider important role that spectrum sharing is set to play in helping meet the future competing demands for spectrum across a broad range of sectors and applications .