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Ofcom is to conduct a pilot of innovative 'white space' technology for wireless broadband services, it has been announced.

The trial - which will be among the first of its kind in Europe - will investigate the use of gaps in radio spectrum for broadband in rural areas.

Ofcom is seeking industry stakeholders to participate in the pilot, which is set to take place in the autumn at a yet-to-be-chosen location.

The media regulator believes that - in the event of a successful pilot - the technology could be rolled out in 2014, enabling improved broadband services to be brought to 'slow-spots' and 'not-spots'.

Ed Richards, Ofcom's Chief Executive, said the body is preparing for a future where consumers’ demand for data services will experience "huge growth".

"This will be fuelled by smartphones, tablets and other new wireless applications," he predicted.

"White space technology is one creative way that this demand can be met. We are aiming to facilitate this important innovation by working closely with industry."

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