Maximising the benefits of 700MHz clearance

Published: 11 March 2016
Consultation closes: 20 May 2016
Status: Closed (statement published)

In November 2014 we decided to make valuable spectrum in the 700MHz band available for mobile data as soon as practicably possible. Initial plans indicated that it would be possible to make the band available by the end of 2021. Our more recent analysis suggests that benefits to citizens and consumers would be greater if it was available sooner.

In this document we set out two decisions in relation to the 700MHz clearance programme.

First, we have taken a spectrum management decision that we will work to accelerate the programme by 18 months and release the 700MHz band in Q2 2020.

Second, we have decided that 20MHz of spectrum in the part of the 700MHz band known as the centre gap should be allocated for use by mobile data (specifically mobile downlink). Linked to this, we have also decided to allow the interim multiplexes to continue operating in this spectrum until at least 1 May 2020, or until mobile downlink services in this spectrum are deployed. As a result of these decisions we are serviing notice on PMSE users that operate in the 700MHz band that from 1 May 2020 they will no longer have access to spectrum in this band to deliver their services.

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