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Today saw the launch of the first in a series of reports on UK Spectrum Usage and Demand from the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, at an event in London.

UK Spectrum Usage and Demand considers the spectrum needs of different sectors, and the social and economic contributions which they are able to make based on their spectrum usage. It reflects the contradictory priorities different industries hold – including space, utilities, business radio, meteorology and mobile – with a view to fostering open discussion and mutual understanding, in order to deliver maximum benefit from the UK’s spectrum assets.

For the report, Real Wireless was commissioned to provide a snapshot of current spectrum usage for the report, as well as calculating the expected long-term future needs of the major users of spectrum in the UK.

Last year Real Wireless became a funding partner and Steering Board member for the fledgling Spectrum Policy Forum. I act as voluntary chair of the Forum’s Cluster 1, examining spectrum applications and demand.

The reason for this is simple. Spectrum is a scarce resource, one that needs proper management and support if the country is to enjoy the benefits – a recent estimate valued spectrum as contributing £52 Billion per year to the UK economy. The UK Spectrum Strategy published a year ago set a target to double this contribution by 2025. Therefore, an independent, industry-led government sounding board such as the UK Spectrum Policy Forum is crucial to making the most of this asset – and Real Wireless is proud to support this vital work.

In today’s report, we found that there are multiple industries with conflicting spectrum requirements and only careful forward planning and a high level of mutual understanding will avoid future clashes.

After all, these industries rightly consider their work as important, and Real Wireless has long been an advocate for enabling the use of wireless technologies in a way which bridges the gap between the wireless industry and business, personal and public sector usage of wireless.

What’s crucial therefore is to plan ahead and spot conflicts before they occur, taking all needs into account in future policy debates to maximise the social and economic benefits from spectrum in the long-term.

A later edition of the report will include further sectors and lead the way to the specific work items which will allow progress on these areas – watch this space!

Today’s report from Real Wireless and the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, UK Spectrum Usage and Demand, is available to download here.

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