Ofcom: wireless demand to double during Olympics
Ofcom will borrow spectrum to meet a doubling in demand for wireless connections during the Olympics.
Ofcom’s research suggests demand for wireless will double during the seven weeks of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London this summer.
“The UK’s airwaves are already among the most intensively used in the world,” said Ofcom’s chief operating officer, Jill Ainscough. “The London 2012 Games will significantly increase demand.”
To make up the shortfall, Ofcom will borrow spectrum from Government agencies – including the Ministry of Defence.
It will also tap spectrum that is currently being unused, notably the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands which was due to be auctioned off to mobile operators at the start of this year, but is handily available thanks to delays in the process.
It said 20,000 wireless frequencies are being assigned in London alone for the event – more than double what Ofcom normally assigns in a year. “However, spectrum within London is already being used at full capacity for many applications that will be used that the London 2012 Games,” Ofcom said.
Demand isn’t being driven by an influx of tourists tweeting photos of sports stars, but by the organisation of the games themselves, including timing and scoring devices, security equipment such as cameras, and handsets for staff to communicate – as well as the wireless microphones and other systems used by broadcasters.