Eurobites: Ofcom sets out its upper 6GHz spectrum 'vision' for UK

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Sky's van Rooyen named as new VodafoneZiggo boss; Vantiva powers Vodafone UK's Wi-Fi 6 foray; ETNO, GSMA do some more EU urging.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

May 21, 2024

2 Min Read
 The offices of Ofcom (Office of Communications) in Southwark, London
(Source: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • UK communications regulator Ofcom is taking time out from being pathetically soft on rogue broadcasters to set out its "vision" for spectrum, which essentially involves the upper 6GHz band being shared by Wi-Fi and mobile services. Ofcom presents two possible approaches to the issue: the first, variable spectrum split, would see both Wi-Fi and mobile being able to use any part of the band where the other is not deployed, but have sections of it they are prioritized in; the second, indoor/outdoor split, would see the band being managed to prioritize indoor use of Wi-Fi while also prioritizing mobile use outdoors. Ofcom's not being hasty, however – it won't be until next year that the body will set out further details on how it intends to make the upper 6GHz band available in the UK.

  • Stephen van Rooyen has been appointed CEO of VodafoneZiggo, the Dutch joint venture between Vodafone and Liberty Global. Previously, van Rooyen was CEO of Sky UK & Ireland and chief commercial officer for the Sky Group. He succeeds Jeroen Hoencamp, who announced last October that he planned to retire. Ritchy Drost, VodafoneZiggo's chief financial officer, will hold the fort as interim CEO until van Rooyen joins in September.

  • In related news, Vodafone UK has chosen Vantiva's Wi-Fi auto-optimization technology to power its new Wi-Fi 6 enabled Power Hub router and Super Wi-Fi 6 Booster. The router and booster are intended to connect more than 100 smart devices at a time at speeds of up to 910 Mbit/s. Vantiva, formerly know as Technicolor, is based in France.

  • The Council of the European Union is hosting two significant meetings this week – one a gathering of the Telecommunications Council and the other the Competitiveness Council – so telecom trade bodies ETNO and the GSMA are taking the opportunity to once again call on the ministers in attendance to adopt policies that allow telcos to boost investment, achieve adequate scale and face less onerous regulation. There's a pattern emerging here

  • The UK is launching a Semiconductor Institute to promote the sector to investors and attract foreign investment in British chip research expertise. The announcement comes a year on from the unveiling of a National Semiconductor Strategy, which the government claims is backed by £1 billion (US$1.27 billion) in funding.

  • NetIX, the Bulgaria-based Internet exchange, is in party mood after surpassing 3 Tbit/s of data traffic across its network for the first time. During the first four months of 2024, NetIX added a new 100GB route between Marseille and Milan, doubled its capacity between Madrid and Frankfurt to 200GB and is currently adding a further 200G between Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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