Conference urges industry to co-ordinate spectrum re-farming to meet 'M2M bandwidth demands'

Cambridge, UK Cambridge, UK

Cambridge, UK. November 14, 2012 – With growing demand for bandwidth for broadcasting, mobile networks and M2M data traffic, speakers and delegates at Cambridge Wireless and ICT KTN‘s UK conference urged the industry to work more closely in order to ‘re-farm’ radio spectrum.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications was one of the key drivers that conference speakers said was likely to increase bandwidth demand. Speakers urged innovators, regulators, operators, component and system vendors and application providers to work together to maximise the use of large parts of the radio spectrum.

The main recommendation, which received strong support from the delegates, was to set up a UK Spectrum forum (similar to the structure of the UMTS forum) to include representatives from network operators, manufacturers, regulators and government.

Stuart Revell (pictured), chairman of ICT KTN Wireless Technology & Spectrum Working Group, who championed this event, said: “It’s vitally important that the proposed forum addresses the specific needs to increase technical input into the UK process, become a catalyst to stimulate innovation, foster greater UK alignment and increase worldwide activity and influence.

Stuart Revell, ICT KTN
Stuart Revell, ICT KTN

“The UK enjoyed ‘Innovator’ status and a leadership position for Digital Television and GSM and it’s clear that regions innovating with industry and government collaboration achieve faster time to market along with lower deployment and retrospective mitigation costs to solve interference and co-existence issues. Regions/countries following the ‘Innovators’ are often left with non-optimal solutions, face a higher cost for deployment and rely on the innovating region’s supply chain,” said Revell.

“With today’s communications landscape founded on the release of licensed and licence-exempt radio spectrum for mass-market communications, the main users must co-operate to reassign frequencies, rebuild networks and re-equip users with new devices,” added Stuart Revell. “What is becoming clear is that reallocation of spectrum for new services has the potential to cause increasing levels of interference, particularly for legacy equipment users. This means that particular attention needs to be paid to managing and solving these co-existence challenges in a new era of rapidly increasing usage of spectrum. and the reliance of wireless connectivity to almost every electronic device and person in the world.”

“We would like to thank the many people from the UK ‘spectrum community’ who were able to spare time to take part in this workshop,” said Stirling Essex of Cambridge Wireless. “We are also grateful to them for their contributions to the debate. Many positive and useful suggestions were made for improving how we can reallocate and reuse spectrum and we look forward to taking these forward with Ofcom (the UK communications regulator) and others to reinstate the UK’s position as the ‘thought leader’ on this important topic.”

Cambridge Wireless and the ICT KTN will be publishing a full report of the workshop findings in the near future. Go to: www.cambridgewireless.co.uk and www.ictktn.org.uk

Cambridge Wireless is an industry forum and community with an expanding network of companies actively involved in the development and application of wireless technologies. In addition to high level networking dinners and events, a strong educational programme and business development activities, Cambridge Wireless runs the annual Future of Wireless International Conference along with the prestigious Discovering Start-Ups programme and competition to support emerging, innovative wireless companies. More than 15 Special Interest Groups focused on specific technologies and market sectors, also provide opportunities for members to meet, form partnerships to exploit new commercial opportunities, and share knowledge and information about the latest industry trends and hot topics. Cambridge Wireless has partnerships with other leading industry clusters and organisations around the world to extend its international reach and to keep members up to date with the latest global developments and business opportunities.

Membership of the ICT KTN is free and open to all involved in any way in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) value chain, from university researchers, through those in enterprises of all sizes working in the converging sectors of communications, information technology and broadcasting, to those in adjacent sectors for which ICT is transformational. With funding from the Technology Strategy Board, it focuses on knowledge transfer as a stimulus to economic growth, seeking to bring a competitive advantage to the UK by facilitating the development and take up of information and communications technologies and their adoption as key enablers in other industries.

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