NEW YORK — The federal government has identified a large block of airwaves that can be freed to meet growing demand for movies, games and other data-intensive activities on smartphones and other mobile devices.

Wireless and technology companies have been clamoring for more spectrum. The 95 megahertz-wide band identified by the Commerce Department can support at least two new national wireless data networks.

But first, the government will have to find new homes for the agencies currently using that spectrum. That could involve sharing arrangements.

The government could spend as much as $18 billion over 10 years moving current users of the spectrum to new locations on the airwaves. The government said Tuesday that it hopes to make up for it by auctioning that spectrum to companies.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.