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Ofcom preparing to make more spectrum available for sharing

Ofcom is planning to make more spectrum available for shared use in the 8 GHz and 26 GHz bands, while continuing to take account of the needs of existing users in both bands.

Shared spectrum in the 8 GHz band
As part of our work with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on the Public Sector Spectrum Release Programme, we have identified 168MHz of spectrum between 7.9 GHz and 8.4 GHz across a range of locations that could be made available for shared use.

Our proposed sharing arrangements will protect MOD users whilst making a significant amount of spectrum available to others. We believe this will be attractive to meet demand for fixed wireless links to support a range of services, including: broadcast infrastructure; backhaul for fixed and mobile networks and low-latency infrastructure for specialist applications.

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 details on the licence terms in due course.

Shared spectrum in the 26 GHz band
We also intend to make 2.25 GHz of spectrum from 24.25 GHz to 26.5 GHz available. We are planning for this spectrum to support 5G indoor applications, sharing access with the existing fixed-wireless services and satellite earth stations that operate in the band.

We will provide further details in our statement on Enabling Opportunities for Innovation, which we expect to publish this summer.

Changes to the 1.4GHz band
Ofcom also 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.

Published by: Ofcom

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