UK regulator carried out a consultation process last year
U.K. telecom regulator Ofcom confirmed spectrum within the 55-68 MHz, 70.5-71.5 MHz and 80-81.5 MHz bands can be used for “Internet of Things” services and machine-to-machine applications. This decision follows a consultation launched by the regulator in September 2015, on the suitability of using VHF frequencies for IoT services and M2M applications.
These frequencies are currently being used for civil two-way radio communication by private individuals, hospitals, factories and taxi companies, and are available via a business radio license.
“We want to encourage U.K. investment and innovation in the ‘Internet of Things’ by providing access to spectrum so that products and services can be connected together wirelessly. The machine-to-machine connections which support the IoT are currently authorized by Ofcom through business radio spectrum licenses,” the regulator said.
The regulator also said the VHF spectrum is particularly suitable for connectivity services targeting the rural, maritime and energy sectors.
Vodacom trials triband carrier aggregation LTE-A in South Africa
In other EMEA news, South African operator Vodacom activated what it claims to be the first commercial LTE-Advanced site in the country through the aggregation of mobile spectrum in three different bands.
The African firm said it achieved access speeds of 170 megabits per second during the trial, which was carried out in Llandudno, near Cape Town. Vodacom said it used 10 megahertz in the 1800 MHz band, 10 megahertz in the 2.1 GHz band and five megahertz in the 900 MHz band. The telco said it used a Samsung Galaxy S7 for the trial.
Vodacom is fully owned by telecom group Vodafone, and ended 2015 with 2.5 million LTE customers, according to the company’s latest financial results. Vodacom’s LTE network covered 54% of the South African population by the end of last year.