Ofcom will borrow spectrum from public sector bodies including the Ministry of Defence to cope with the doubling of demand from wireless technologies during this summer's Olympic Games.
The regulator said up to 20,000 wireless frequencies will be used for the Olympic Games in London, more than double the number usually assigned in a year. Demand will be fuelled by new broadcasting technologies, such as wireless cameras and microphones, as well as commentary systems and use of walkie-talkies.
Ofcom has been working on a plan since 2006 to ensure there is enough spectrum to meet demand. It said it will borrow spectrum from public sector bodies like the Ministry of Defence, making use of spectrum freed up by the digital switchover and using spectrum that is available without a need for a licence. It will also use spectrum earmarked for the forthcoming 4G auction, which will not be used during the Olympics.
Ofcom said it had tested the increased demand for spectrum during events such as last year's Royal Wedding and Silverstone Grand Prix. The regulator said it will deploy a large team of engineers to deal with any interference that does occur.
Its chief operating officer, Jill Ainscough, said: 'The UK’s airwaves are already among the most intensively used in the world. The London 2012 Games will significantly increase demand. Ready and prepared for this challenge, Ofcom recognises that there is no room for complacency. We are working behind the scenes to make this capacity available, to ensure that this demand is met.'