Ofcom expands 5G spectrum access

Friday, 27 October, 2017

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Ofcom is planning to expand spectrum access for mobile services in the 3.6 GHz to 3.8 GHZ band.

This is the primary band for the rollout of 5G services, which is currently being used by point-to-point fixed links. It also provides satellite services for space to Earth reception, with a large amount of spectrum available as well as propagation characteristics.

UK Broadband provides wireless broadband services using part of the band. Ofcom will begin the formal process to propose to remove current authorisations for fixed links and vary licences and grants of recognised spectrum access for satellite earth stations, to remove any receive frequencies in the band, following appropriate notice periods.

The effect of this approach would be to enable future mobile services in the 3.6 to 3.8 GHz band to be deployed in many areas from around 2020, but not necessarily nationwide before 2022.

Affected licensees and grant-holders will be written to setting out these proposals. They will have a further opportunity to make representations before final decisions are taken on individual licences and grants.

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