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Ofcom has launched a new consultation, as it plots a strategy for meeting the UK's growing demand for mobile broadband spectrum.

The media regulator has identified a number of new spectrum bands which it believes could be used for data transmission over the next two decades, as the number of connected devices increases.

Factoring in developments in mobile technology - such as 5G connectivity - and the introduction of more advanced mobile networks, Ofcom believes mobile data capacity will rise by 25 times between now and 2030.

The regulator is already working to increase the amount of spectrum available in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands, the 700MHz band and the 'white spaces' that sit in the frequency band used to broadcast digital terrestrial TV.

But according to the regulator, there are other potential opportunities for the longer term which should also be considered.

"For example, the UK government is currently assessing the possibility of reorganising the 2.7GHz radar band to potentially release up to 100MHz of spectrum for other uses, which could include mobile broadband," it stated.

"Additional spectrum in the 3.6GHz band, which is currently used for satellites links, is another potential candidate. Mobile services should be able to share this band by co-ordinating with existing satellite users."

Ofcom said it needs to balance the interests of all spectrum users and make sure this "scarce national resource" is used as efficiently as possible.

This involves ensuring the needs of existing users - such as broadcasters and users of wireless cameras and microphones - are appropriately protected.

As such, Ofcom is inviting submissions from all stakeholders on the matter as part of the consultation. There are three ways to respond - via online consultation response form, email or post.

Ed Richards, Chief Executive at Ofcom, predicted that demands for mobile data "will only increase" as millions more wireless devices connect to the internet and each other.

“We’re looking at ways to use spectrum more efficiently and consider future releases of prime spectrum," he stated.

"By doing so, we can help to meet the significant demands placed on our wireless infrastructure and develop one of the world’s leading digital economies."

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