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Ofcom has launched a new consultation process, as it looks to establish whether radio spectrum bands above 6GHz could be used for 5G mobile broadband.

The media regulator is seeking input from a range of industry stakeholders, as it looks to set the agenda for the fifth generation of mobile services in the UK market.

5G mobile is expected to be capable of extremely fast data speeds, with Ofcom predicting download capabilities of between 10Gb and 50Gb.

At the end of 2014, the average 4G connection speed in the UK was 15Mb.

However, large blocks of spectrum will be needed to achieve these download capabilities, and these are difficult to find at lower frequencies.

Ofcom said the timeframe for the launch of 5G services is "uncertain", although it believes commercial applications could emerge by 2020.

This is subject to research and development, and the creation of international agreements for aligning frequency bands.

Steve Unger, Ofcom Acting Chief Executive, said the regulator wants the UK to be "a leader in the next generation of wireless communications".

"Working with industry, we want to lay the foundations for the UK’s next generation of wireless communications," he stated.

“5G must deliver a further step change in the capacity of wireless networks, over and above that currently being delivered by 4G. No network has infinite capacity, but we need to move closer to the ideal of there always being sufficient capacity to meet consumers’ needs."

Philip Marnick, Ofcom Spectrum Group Director, said the regulator is looking to explore how high-frequency spectrum could potentially offer "significant capacity" for 5G mobile data.

“This could pave the way for innovative new mobile services for UK consumers and businesses," he added.

Industry stakeholders have until February 27th to make their submissions as part of the Ofcom consultation process.

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