As a project we endeavour to explore and suggest new business models to solve the connectivity challenge in rural areas. One of the ways this could be resolved is through spectrum sharing. As such we are pleased to share our first whitepaper “Rural Britain needs a new spectrum model to drive modernisation of the rural economy”.
The importance of the 5G pioneer band 3.4-3.8 GHz to the rural community is examined in some detail. The case is made as to why the traditional approach to the release of 5G spectrum will leave rural Britain out in the cold in terms of the transformative benefits of 5G. Some alternative options are looked at and the conclusion is reached that the “market expansion model” set out in the Government’s Future Telecommunications Infrastructure Report is the best option. Some use cases are presented that show opportunistic dynamic spectrum access offers more than enough bandwidth to meet the rural use cases but a small amount of anchor spectrum, to be lightly licensed on a first come first served basis, is essential to create viable investment conditions for the market expansion model. The paper shows why an amount as little as 20 MHz is sufficient when coupled with opportunistic dynamic spectrum access rights. Such an amount is 5% of the 5G pioneer band at 3.6 GHz and would be a sound national investment likely to offer a good return from a more productive rural economy.
As 5G RuralFirst progresses we expect to share many more whitepapers and opinion pieces, with you so look out for more over the coming months.