MoD to donate radio spectrum for Olympics

The Ministry of Defence will donate radio spectrum for wireless use by London Olympics organisers and media during the 2012 Olympics.The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will 'lend' spectrum to Ofcom that was slated for public sale in November, a spokesman for the regulator told ZDNet UK on Monday.

The Ministry of Defence will donate radio spectrum for wireless use by London Olympics organisers and media during the 2012 Olympics.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will 'lend' spectrum to Ofcom that was slated for public sale in November, a spokesman for the regulator told ZDNet UK on Monday.

"There's no aim to use any of the spectrum used for [MoD] security purposes," said the spokesman.

Ofcom will temporarily 'borrow' spectrum from the MoD that will be sold as part of government plans to release 500MHz of spectrum below 5GHz by 2020.

Demand for spectrum in London will double over the period of the games, Ofcom said in a statement on Monday. Frequencies will be used by organisers for wireless timing and scoring systems, and walkie-talkie communications. Media will use the frequencies for wireless cameras and microphones, said Ofcom.

"Careful management of London's airwaves will be essential for the coverage and organisation of the London 2012 games," Ofcom said in the statement on Monday. "The event presents a unique logistical challenge never faced before by the UK, with a need to assign up to 20,000 wireless frequencies to be used for the games in London, more than double the number usually assigned in a year."

Spectrum will need to be found for Wi-Fi communications by athletes, officials, and staff, and for broadcasting commentaries to Olympics audiences.

Radio spectrum in London is already being fully used on many frequencies, said Ofcom, making it necessary to find additional capacity.

In addition to military frequencies, Olympics organisers and media will make use of spectrum due to be auctioned at the end of 2012 for 4G mobile use.

Unlicensed spectrum, and frequencies freed up by the switchover to digital TV broadcasting will also be used, said the Ofcom spokesman.

"We're using many different initiatives to gain additional capability," said the spokesman. "We're not [wholly] depending on any one of these initiatives."

Bands used by Olympics equipment and technology have been taken into account by Ofcom in frequency allocation, the spokesman added.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All