Investigating the use of the UHF Spectrum for Ofcom

By Tim Barber

The development of new technologies such as digital television and mobile internet meant Ofcom had more of a challenge balancing the use of the Ultra High Frequency spectrum. They needed to evaluate what policy interventions they needed to take to secure future UHF spectrum release and balance the needs of Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) and mobile internet. In forming these policies Ofcom needed to take into account consumer views on both these products, and so they approached BDRC for help.

BDRC conducted over 2,100 online surveys with potential and existing users of DTT and mobile internet. Researchers then applied their expertise in Advanced analytics. Using Conjoint trade-off analysis BDRC were able to tease out consumers’ preferences with respect to a wide (and often complex) range of different options.

Specific functional attributes were identified allowing Ofcom to help ensure that the use of the UHF spectrum bands remain in the best interest of UK citizens and consumers. Our research also had a long term benefit. We provided Ofcom with a ‘simulator’ which allowed them to compare any and all attributes for up to four alternate scenarios. It would calculate the preference shares for each amongst a range of demographic and other consumer groups of interest to Ofcom. This allows the research to keep providing benefit long after the debrief and means it is easy for many stakeholders within the organisation to access and utilise the results obtained by the research.

 

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