Additional spectrum may be needed to meet the mobile broadband demands of the future, it has been claimed.
Ofcom believes that by 2030, demand for mobile data could be 80 times higher than today, as more consumers and businesses use dongles, tablets and smartphones.
Already, 20 million Gigabytes of data is being consumed in a month over the country’s mobile networks, the media regulator explained.
And with 4G set to go nationwide in 2013, the number of people choosing to use mobile broadband is likely to increase significantly.
In order to cope with this seemingly insatiable demand for data, Ofcom plans to enable the release of new airwaves for future generations of mobile devices.
EE is currently using 1,800MHz spectrum to offer 4G services in 11 UK cities, while the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands will also come into use next year.
Ofcom aims to draw on the 700 MHz frequency band, which is currently used for digital terrestrial television, as part of future harmonised spectrum planning across Europe and the rest of the world.
Releasing the new frequencies can be achieved without the need for another TV ‘switchover’, the regulator said.
Using the same frequencies of spectrum for mobile broadband can create economies of scale and widen the availability of handsets, it noted.
This in turn can help reduce prices for mobile broadband consumers.
Ed Richards, Chief Executive at Ofcom, said: “Within the coming months we will hold the UK’s largest-ever auction of mobile spectrum for 4G.
"However, that may not be enough to meet consumers’ future data demands, which is why we are already making significant efforts to prepare to go beyond 4G.
“Our plans are designed to avoid a ‘capacity crunch’, ensuring that the UK’s mobile infrastructure can continue to support the inescapable growth in consumer demand and economic growth more generally."