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Ofcom is devising a strategy to ensure the UK can cope with the growing demands placed on its wireless infrastructure over the next decade.

The growing popularity of wireless and mobile broadband, and devices that are reliant upon radio spectrum, means the communications regulator is actively planning for the future.

As well as tablets and other web-enabled devices, spectrum is used in TV and radio broadcasting, in aeronautical communications, by the emergency services and by wireless cameras, microphones and smart-meters.

With this in mind, Ofcom has published its approach to spectrum sharing, as it bids to promote further innovation and the efficient use of this resource.

The regulator is already supporting trials of 'white space' technology, but is also seeking to manage the co-existence of different services and promote technology improvements that minimise interference.

Ofcom is actively supporting the release of 500 MHz of spectrum from the public sector, with the first step being the release of spectrum at 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz, currently held by the Ministry of Defence.

It is also investigating the potential to rearrange the bands used for digital terrestrial TV; a move which could release more prime spectrum for mobile broadband use after 2018.

Ed Richards, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said that as the UK moves to an increasingly digital infrastructure, wireless services offer "some of the most exciting opportunities for growth and innovation".

"Our spectrum management strategy is aimed at ensuring the regulatory approach helps the UK take as many of these opportunities as possible," he stated.

"We are looking forward to working closely with people and organisations across the UK and beyond who share our ambitions for this crucial and growing area."

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