Ofcom and government must review the regulatory regime to ensure that spectrum allocation and regulatory decisions support a growth model in a world where technology developments enable greater shared access and interoperability

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  • Ofcom and government must ensure they keep pace with the rapid evolution of the mobile communications market, and that the regulatory regime is fit for purpose. By the end of 2017 Ofcom and government must review the regulatory regime to ensure that spectrum allocation and regulatory decisions support a growth model in a world where technology developments enable greater shared access and interoperability. Government and Ofcom should review how unlicensed, lightly licensed spectrum, spectrum sharing and similar approaches can be utilised for higher frequencies to maximise access to the radio spectrum. Spectrum decisions should where possible enable:
    • Community or small provider solutions to meet the needs of local areas if they remain unserved or poorly served.
    • Niche entrants or sub-national players to access the higher frequency spectrum anticipated for 5G. Allocation of nationwide spectrum licenses to a small number of operators could leave large areas of the UK fallow.
    • Businesses, universities and others to access spectrum where they need to within their factories or buildings, including already licensed spectrum if there are no interference risks. This will unlock multiple wireless service provider options, including self-provision, spurring the innovation in industrial internet of things, wireless automation and robotics.

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