UK regulator Ofcom has published updates on its plans for improving mobile coverage and supporting the roll-out of 5G. It has written to all mobile network operators to confirm if they have all complied with obligations set in 2014 to provide mobile call coverage across 90 percent of the country’s landmass by end-2017. Separately, O2 was obliged to provide indoor 4G mobile data coverage to 98 percent of UK premises by end-2017.
Ofcom is now planning new coverage requirements for when it releases spectrum in the 700 MHz band for mobile services, expected in late-2019. It is proposing that winners of that spectrum will have to roll out improved 4G mobile coverage in rural areas, including premises currently unable to receive good service from any operator. They will also be required to provide better coverage in each of the UK nations.
Ofcom has also published the details of how it will support 5G roll-out, including plans to release different spectrum bands. It is also launching the new Innovation and Trial Portal to make it easier for access spectrum to test innovative technology.