Ofcom opens up mmWave spectrum in the UK | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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After concern by stakeholders that the UK was in danger of falling behind other countries in enabling next gen mobile services, UK comms regulator Ofcom has announced that that it has given the greenlight to making over 6 GHz of mmWave radio spectrum for mobile technology, including 5G.
Vodafone 5GVR 16June 2021
This spectrum – which will be made available across the 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands - has the potential to deliver significant benefits by enabling large increases in wireless data capacity and speeds, and in making its decision, Ofcom said that it wanted to provide industry with certainty of access to this spectrum to enable timely investment and innovation.

Indeed, the regulator says that it was taking a proactive approach to making mmWave spectrum available, to enable investment in faster, better-quality services and innovation. It added that it considers that making the 26 GHz and 40 GHz bands available for new uses at the same time will maximise this spectrum’s potential to benefit for people and businesses. Key applications using mmWave will include immersive video experiences.

Looking at the expected rollout of mmWave networks, Ofcom noted that in the major towns and cities, where it expects the highest volume of mmWave deployment, it will assign local licences on a first come, first served basis, using its Shared Access licensing framework and award city/town-wide licences by auction. Elsewhere in the UK, in so-called low-density areas, it expects deployments to be sparser, and so it will assign local licences on a first come, first served basis.

In a first step in making the deployment possible, Ofcom says that it will need to clear the incumbent fixed wireless links which will not be able to coexist with mobile technology in the new spectrum. It has therefore decided to start the statutory process to revoke: • licences authorising fixed links in the 26 GHz band which are likely to receive harmful interference from new uses all of the existing block assigned licences in the 40 GHz band.

Ofcom is now consulting on proposals for the design of the auction for citywide licences, the licence conditions for citywide and local mmWave licences and how it will coordinate users of this spectrum. It is welcoming responses until 23 May 2023.