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Ofcom is to meet growing demand for mobile broadband services by freeing up spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band.

Some of the frequencies currently used for digital television will be given over for mobile data traffic by 2022; and potentially up to two years earlier.

Ofcom said the decision marks "a significant step" in addressing the UK’s requirements for mobile data spectrum, which are increasing year by year.

The regulator believes mobile data volumes could be around 45 times higher by 2030 than today.

Ed Richards, Ofcom's Chief Executive, said the decision to release 700MHz spectrum is "a crucial next step" in the development of the UK's communications infrastructure.

"We are making the raw materials available with which investors and companies can build the services which will support the digital economy of the future," he stated.

"More spectrum will be available for mobile broadband where demand is especially high, but the UK will retain a competitive terrestrial television platform as well."

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