Ofcom wants mobile networks to extend 4G data coverage to cover the holes in current coverage, bringing super fast mobile data to those previously in the digital darkness.
As it sells off the analogue TV spectrum, networks are tripping over each other to get a slice of the 800MHz band, which travels further so requires fewer masts, along with the higher 2.6GHz 4G band.
Ofcom's proposal is to force the buyer of one of the 800MHz licenses to roll out coverage for 98 per cent of the UK population, or alternatively to specifically make it available in mobile data blackspots.
Don't underestimate the importance of this, says Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards: “This is a crucial step in preparing for the most significant spectrum release in the UK for many years. The proposals published today will influence the provision of services to consumers for the next decade and beyond."
Ofcom's final plan for 4G will be decided this summer.