- It intends to release spectrum in the 8 GHz and 26 GHz bands
- The spectrum is intended to support broadcast infrastructure; backhaul for fixed and mobile networks and low-latency infrastructure for specialist applications
- Information on licence terms to be released in due course
Ofcom has advised that it’s preparing the way to make more shared high frequency spectrum available for up and coming applications - for both indoor and other uses including backhaul for 5G.
A spokesperson said that things were at an early ‘high level’ stage at present, but the aim is to release spectrum available in the 8 GHz and 26 GHz bands.
To do that Ofcom has to work with the UK ministry of Defence (MOD) in what’s being called the ‘Spectrum Release Programme’ which sounds like a halfway house for just-released offenders, but is in fact a way of negotiating under-used spectrum from the clutches of the military. What’s been agreed is that 168MHz of spectrum between 7.9GHz and 8.4 GHz could be made available for shared use, says Ofcom. The sharing arrangements will protect the current MOD users and applications while releasing large chunks of spectrum for commercial use.
Ofcom says it’s earmarked this shared spectrum for a range of services including: broadcast infrastructure; backhaul for fixed and mobile networks and low-latency infrastructure for specialist applications.
Ofcom says: “We are aiming to make the spectrum available as quickly as possible and will provide guidance on how to apply for access to the band on a first come, first served basis and will provide details on the licence terms in due course.”
Another tranche of spectrum has been earmarked for 5G use, says the regulator, and it comprises 2.25 GHz of spectrum lying in the 24.25 GHz to 26.5 GHz band. It will likely support 5G indoor applications, sharing access with the existing fixed-wireless services and satellite earth stations that operate in the band.
In addition, Ofcom says that it intends to make the 1492-1517 MHz band available for future wireless broadband services in order to comply with EU Decision 2018/661. “We have written to existing licensees in the 1492-1517 MHz band to notify them of our proposal to clear the band by 31 December 2022. Licensees have until 17 June 2019 to respond to Ofcom’s notice should they wish to do so.”
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