Ofcom’s group director for spectrum called on the UK’s MNOs to work together to devise strategies for more effective spectrum management

Ofcom has called on the UK’s mobile network operators to work together on managing their use of spectrum and foster a spirit of collaboration as the UK prepares itself for the rollout of 5G services in the coming years. Speaking at the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s Annual Summit in London this week, Ofcom’s spectrum group director, Philip Marnick said that effective spectrum management was critical to the successful implementation of 5G.

"Our objective is to ensure that spectrum does not inhibit the rollout of 5G,” he said.

“Managing spectrum efficiently is crucial to improving how we enjoy technology today and enabling the services of tomorrow. It demands a collaborative approach. This includes exploring options for greater sharing of spectrum amongst different users and looking at new ways to ensure all industries can access the airwaves they need to unlock the full potential of future technology.”

The challenges of the current approach to spectrum management was a key theme at the conference and was touched upon by most of the speakers during the day.

“We live in a world where protection is key. Everyone thinks they own the bit of spectrum they’ve got…we work in a way to make sure people can’t get in and it’s very much a keep off the grass approach. But, it’s a world we can’t live in. It’s an approach of ‘no you can’t’ and we’ve got to move to a world of ‘how do we make it work?’” he said.