Ofcom is planning to make additional spectrum available to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for its own radiocommunications system. It will use some of the frequencies previously used by Freeview.
The PSNI manages its own radio communications network which supports approximately 20,000 users, including the police, fire and ambulance services.
The existing PSNI network has a limited data capability and cannot match the bandwidth offered by modern mobile communications technology. Therefore, the PSNI is seeking to transition to new technology.
Ofcom is proposing to make 2×3 MHz of the 700 MHz band previously used for television services. Specifically, PSNI would be allowed to use 733-736 MHz (between UHF channel 53 & 54) paired with 788-791 MHz (between UHF channel 60 & 61). In addition, PSNI would get 2×4 MHz (876-880 MHz and 921-925MHz), within a band traditionally used for mobile services.
These bands are currently unused in the Northern Ireland.