Frequencies allocated to the public sector, including the Ministry of Defence, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the emergency services, amount to around half of the radio spectrum below 15GHz.
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This frequency band is the most sought-after and congested frequency area. An independent study recently estimated that public sector spectrum holdings could have a market value of between £3bn and more than £20bn, said Ofcom.
The Ofcom proposals will provide public sector organisations with new opportunities to make the most efficient use of their frequencies, by allowing them to trade spectrum with commercial companies, while ensuring that national security and public safety remain paramount.
The proposals would first lead to spectrum trading in the 406.1-430 MHz, 2.7-3.4 GHz and 3.4-3.6 GHz bands.
Over time, this will benefit citizens and consumers, with the potential launch of new services and technologies using the spectrum, said the regulator.
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