UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the launch of a consultation in which it aims to ‘develop a better understanding of the role that spectrum accessed on a shared basis could play in the mobile broadband and machine-to-machine (M2M) sectors alongside cleared spectrum bands’. Further, the watchdog has said it is particularly interested in understanding the role that spectrum sharing could play in opening up access to more frequencies and helping to support innovation, while also examining any possible disadvantages, such as making it harder to manage interference between different spectrum users. The four key spectrum sharing topics addressed by the consultation are: supporting future Wi-Fi use; increasing the future supply of spectrum for mobile broadband and M2M using spectrum shared on a geographic basis; using dynamic spectrum access technology to improve sharing between devices; and shorter term access to shared spectrum to support research and development. Meanwhile, although the consultation focuses predominantly on the use of shared spectrum access in the mobile broadband and M2M sectors, Ofcom has recognised that ‘this approach also has wider applicability to other sectors’ and as such it ‘would welcome stakeholder views on other service types where spectrum sharing could potentially deliver significant benefits to citizens and consumers’. Submissions from interested parties must be made before the 7 November 2013 deadline set by Ofcom.