Community Groups Gain Access to Unused Mobile Spectrum to Create Hyperlocal Networks

By Gary Cutlack on at

Communications regulator Ofcom is opening up access to some unused chunks of the mobile connectivity spectrum, allowing businesses, community groups and even the more savvy of the farmers to apply for the right to create their own mobile networks to connect all their things and alleviate the menace of rural boredom.

Ofcom's plan is to spin off some of the airwave frequencies in parts of the country that aren't being used to create a "local licensing" opportunity, that'll let businesses build bespoke networks for their own use. Ofcom says farmers might like to build a 5G network covering their land for the benefit of "smart tractors" they might own, with holiday parks perhaps making one to entertain/monetise their customers when it rains, or factories might want to create a site-wide network to hook their machines into and let them all monitor themselves and their rollers and vats.

Ofcom's Philip Marnick said: "Our new sharing approach will help more people access airwaves to create local networks around the UK. The benefits of this innovation could extend across our economy, from farms to factories, as well as supporting new technology firms." [Ofcom via Techradar]