UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has today finished a four-year project to clear the 800 MHz part of the spectrum so it is ready for LTE-based services, coming in five months ahead of its original schedule.
The frequencies were previously used for broadcasting digital TV channels and by wireless audio devices, such as microphones, which had to be accommodated through a combination of transmitter upgrades, TV receiver retuning and finding alternative frequencies.
The 800 MHz spectrum were auctioned by Ofcom in February 2013, along with 2.6 GHz frequencies. The winners were Vodafone, EE, Telefonica, 3 UK and BT.
To date, EE is the only one of the UK’s mobile operators to have launched an LTE-based service, using refarmed 1800 MHz frequencies.
Ofcom says it secured an accelerated timetable for freeing up Freeview digital TV frequencies after negotiations with the TV broadcasters, Digital UK and the transmission company Arqiva.