UK’s Ofcom to make changes in spectrum licences to boost 5G investment

Ofcom said it aims to announce technical changes to mobile network operators’ spectrum licences to bolster 5G investment.
5G and 4G connections forecast
The development follows the request from BT/EE, Hutchison, Telefonica and Vodafone to vary their licences in the 3.4 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands. These are important bands for future 5G services, Ofcom said.

Ofcom will make changes – after the consultation closes on 19 May 2019 – to bring the 5G licences in line with a recent European Union decision on the technical conditions that apply to spectrum in these bands.

Ofcom said varying the licences to align with the decision would allow operators to deploy Active Antenna Systems (AAS). AAS can help deliver higher-quality mobile services in busy areas, by increasing network capacity and allowing spectrum to be transmitted to people’s devices more directly.

Telecom industry body GSMA earlier said a number of mobile 5G commercial launches are expected over the next three years in North America and major markets across Asia and Europe.

China, the US and Japan will be the leading countries by 5G connections in 2025, while Europe will make progress with 5G deployments. China, the US, Japan and Europe will account for 70 percent plus of the 1.2 billion 5G connections by the end of the forecast period.

GSMA also said revenues in Europe are stabilising after several years of decline, helped by fewer regulatory headwinds and an improving macro backdrop. Consolidation in several markets is also helping the revenue outlook, though overall growth rates are close to zero.

UK is set to see an inflection in revenue trends by 2020 after several years of declines. Competitive pressures are set to ease and ARPU levels stabilise, helped by strong growth in data volumes, GSMA said.