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Ofcom: “We share the Government’s ambition for the UK to be a world leader in 5G”

Regulator publishes response to the Government’s SSP for telecoms, spectrum and post

Ofcom has published its response to the Government’s Statement of Strategic Priorities (SSP) for telecoms, spectrum and post.

“We share the Government’s ambition for the UK to be a world leader in 5G,” Ofcom public policy director Katie Pettifer said in a letter to DCMS digital infrastructure director James Heath. “We are also supporting businesses – large and small – to access the spectrum they need to innovate and improve services, including in rural areas. Spectrum sharing can support all of these ambitions and earlier this year we launched a new spectrum sharing framework.”

Pettifer said Ofcom has met a number of the objectives established in the SSP, including:

  • Established a sharing framework that will support the development of 5G services from existing and new players by allowing access to 5G spectrum
  • Gone beyond the Government’s objective to release 1 GHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz band, by making 2.25 GHz available for indoor, shared use
  • Made 3.8-4.2 GHz available for shared use
  • Identified that there is opportunity to share already licensed mobile spectrum and have implemented a process for localised access

Enabling strong, secure networks is also a priority within Ofcom’s Annual Plan, according to Pettifer. “Our Security and Resilience Assurance Scheme was launched in February, using a detailed questionnaire to enable us to better understand the security and operational resilience issues providers face, and to then monitor their improvement plans,” she said. “Ofcom took over TBEST – the intelligence-led penetration testing scheme – from DCMS in January, launching our Handbook on roles, responsibilities and processes in March.

“We are working with relevant communication providers on their implementation of the scheme. We have an ongoing structured programme of engaging with key equipment vendors. We have supported the Government‘s Supply Chain Review, which will play an important role in determining the security and resilience framework for the future, and we are working with the Government on the development of the Telecoms Security Requirements.”