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Working together to enable spectrum-sharing innovation

Published: 2 November 2023
Last updated: 2 November 2023

Ofcom recently had the privilege of hosting an event on hybrid sharing in the Upper 6 GHz spectrum band. The event brought together industry leaders, regulators, and academics to discuss the possibilities and challenges of allowing both Wi-Fi and mobile operators to share access to the band.

Over 100 external attendees joined us to explore the potential of this pioneering approach – with representatives from across the industry including: Wi-Fi and mobile chipset and hardware manufacturers, network operators, big tech companies, government departments, industry groups, spectrum regulators from Europe and wider, and academia.

Keynote speakers and panel members included the following industry leaders:

  • Andreas Johann (Executive Officer, BMDV, German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport)
  • Christopher Szymanski (Director of Product Marketing, Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division, Broadcom)
  • Professor William Webb (CTO, Access Partnership)
  • Luigi Ardito – Director of Government Affairs for Europe, Middle East & North Africa, Qualcomm
  • Mark Henry – Director of Network & Spectrum Strategy, BT/EE
  • Dr Martha Suarez – President, Dynamic Spectrum Alliance
  • Professor Monisha Gosh – Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Notre Dame
  • Saul Friedner – Director of Spectrum Services & Business Development, LS Telcom
  • Stuart Cooke – Director of Industry & Spectrum Affairs, Samsung

The event served as a dynamic platform for the exchange of knowledge, insights, and collaborative discussions. It showcased the willingness of these industry leaders to explore new horizons in wireless technology and spectrum sharing.

We are grateful for the enthusiastic response from all the participants and look forward to building on the momentum generated at this event. We will continue to engage to make hybrid sharing a success, stay tuned while we continue this journey.

What is spectrum?

You can’t see or feel radio spectrum. But any device that communicates wirelessly needs spectrum – such as televisions, car key fobs, baby monitors, wireless microphones and satellites. Mobile phones use spectrum to connect to a local mast so people can make calls and access the internet.

Why does Ofcom manage spectrum use?

Only a limited amount of spectrum is available, so it needs to be managed carefully. Certain bands of spectrum are also used for different purposes. For example, mobile companies use different parts of the spectrum to TV companies. So, it needs to be managed to prevent services interfering and causing disruption to people and businesses.

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